Update: This story has been updated to include a Friday afternoon interview with Community Entry Services CEO Shawn Griffin.
A loaded .45-caliber gun found its way into a pile of clothes someone donated to a Riverton community care facility for disabled people.
While going through the donated clothes Thursday, one of the facility’s clients shot the gun, according to a police statement.
The Riverton Police Department responded at about 11:17 a.m. to Community Entry Services, an organization that helps people with developmental disabilities and acquired brain injuries work in and contribute to the community.
A male client had picked up the .45-caliber handgun while going through some donated clothing and fired it, according to the police department’s incident statement.
“The round glanced off the ground and passed through a nearby barrel and the left a dent in the side of the building,” says the statement. “It is unknown how the gun found its way into the donated clothing.”
The weapon did not flag as having been stolen when police checked it through a federal database.
When police seized the weapon as evidence, it still had a round in the chamber but the magazine was empty, says the statement.
No one was hurt.
"We don't usually find guns in donations," said Shawn Griffin, Community Entry Services CEO. Griffin got the gun after the client shot it and called police, he told Cowboy State Daily on Friday. The bullet hit the outside wall of a building, but Griffin said he and other people who searched could not find it.
The client was startled but not scared or upset, Griffin said, adding that he and the rest of the organization are grateful no one was hurt.
"We appreciate the community's donations but we really want people to double-check donations," he said. "Obviously we don't want weapons donated, let alone a loaded gun, or any other hazardous materials."
Clair McFarland may be reached at: