Ask NOW: Will Elmbrook Church respond to the gun left in the bathroom?

A loaded gun was found in a bathroom at Elmbrook Church on March 19.

A loaded gun was found in a bathroom at Elmbrook Church on March 19. Photo By Staff Photo by Rory Linnane

March 31, 2014

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How is Elmbrook Church handling a gun found in its bathroom?

Question: A reader "deeply disturbed" by a police report about a loaded gun found in the bathroom at Elmbrook Church, 777 S. Barker Road, while children were in the building asked whether church officials plan to do anything about it.

Response: After a March 28 Brookfield NOW article revealed that Elmbrook Church staff found a loaded gun in a church bathroom about noon March 19, reporters flocked to the town of Brookfield Police Department, which had responded to the incident, and concerned parents rang the church, all wanting to know what would be done.

Elmbrook Church Director of Operations Mark Heckman said that would be up to police, who have referred the case to the Waukesha County District Attorney's Office. Charges have not been filed.

"That's now between the town of Brookfield police, the individual and the district attorney," Heckman said.

But Heckman did dispute some of the points in the police report. While the report said the woman who left the gun on a feminine disposal can in the bathroom was a volunteer teacher at the church, Heckman said she was actually a person attending an adult Bible study class.

A group for homeschooled children was meeting at the same time, and those children did have access to the bathroom where the gun was left as the police report stated, Heckman said, but they were in a different part of the building "not anywhere near the area" with the gun. According to the police report, the weapon was left in the bathroom on the main floor between the north chapel entrance and the kitchen area.

Although the police report said the gun's safety was in the fire position, Heckman said the staff member who found the gun and security personel said the safety was actually on. He said the church did everything it could to address the situation, having called police immediately upon finding the weapon, and he did not plan to take any further action.

"We take the safety and security of our members and guests very seriously and believe that our internal protocols were followed and served to protect those in attendance that morning," church officials said in a statement.

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