Sheriff 'devastated' after student finds his forgotten gun in middle school locker room

A local sheriff in Michigan apologized on Tuesday for accidentally leaving, in a middle school locker room, a gun that was later discovered by one of the students.

Isabella County Sheriff Michael Main said he was “devastated” by his “lack of accountability” after a student at Shepherd Middle School found the firearm in the locker room bathroom.

“I have no excuse for my lack of responsibility with this matter,” Main said in a statement on Tuesday. “I have worked diligently my entire career to protect people, especially our youth. However, I have failed to do just that, and I’m devastated with my lack of accountability in this matter.”

According to his statement, Main said he was using the school’s facilities to change from regular clothes to his uniform because he had been there over the weekend for an event.

He said he believed that his gun, which was his backup weapon, was in his bag when he left.

Main praised the student who reported the firearm on Monday to an adult.

Shepherd Police Chief Luke Sawyer told The Associated Press Tuesday that his department is investigating the incident and that the findings will be turned over to the Isabella County prosecutor’s office. Prosecutors will decide if any charges are to be filed.

Shepherd Schools Superintendent Claire Bunker told The Morning Sun that the incident was a “mistake” and that she was “proud” of the student for notifying someone.

“Sheriff Main is a great person and an asset to Isabella County,” she said. “He is human and he made a mistake. He takes full responsibility for the incident. I’m extremely proud of the student who brought it to the attention of a staff member.”

“In the 20 years of law enforcement service I have never left a weapon anywhere,” Main said in his statement. “I am prepared for the harsh criticism that will follow the release of this information. I understand clearly that I have a higher level of standard that must be met and quite frankly I let myself, my family and the community down.”

It remains unclear if Main will face disciplinary action.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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