An 8-year-old boy vacationing in New Hampshire recently stumbled across a gun while swimming in a lake in Alton, according to police.
The boy, named Jackson, was exploring the lake bottom Tuesday when he spotted a "glimmer of metal" on the lake bed and swam down to grab it, only to find it was a gun. Alton police said Jackson was "shocked" when he realized what he found, did the right thing by immediately notifying his father, who was swimming nearby.
The father contacted police and put the gun in a safe place where Jackson and his sister could not access it, according to police.
The gun Jackson found was previously stolen from a Sanbornton home years ago, authorities said. The gun was still in good condition but most likely not able to function properly due to being submerged for some time.
Alton Police Chief Ryan Heath warned the public to be aware of this type of situation reminded families to talk about firearm safety, including what to do should kids come across firearms like Jackson did.
"The method we teach the kids in our schools is to stop, don't touch, run away, and tell an adult. Depending on the age of your kids you can keep it very basic or elaborate on different scenarios," Heath said in a statement.
The chief added that, if you are a gun owner — legal or not — and no longer want to keep your firearm, remember that a child could find it if you dispose of it improperly.
"Thankfully, this gun was not loaded and in no condition to be fired," Heath said. "If the circumstances were different this could have had a very tragic ending."