Boys make the right move with loaded gun in theater
Kolton McKinney, left, and Levi Crabtree found a loaded handgun in an Oregon theater.
December 20th, 2012
10:36 AM ET

Boys make the right move with loaded gun in theater

With the horrific news involving guns from Newtown, Connecticut, in the past week, here’s a story with a happy ending and one that illustrates how kids can be more responsible than adults when it comes to weapons.

On Wednesday morning in Tillamook, Oregon, a city of 5,000 near the Pacific Ocean, a group of seventh-grade students were on a field trip to the local Coliseum Theatre to watch "The Hobbit." The outing was a reward for getting good grades.

It turns out these kids were more than book-smart.

When Kolton McKinney pulled his seat down, something fell from it.

“He sat down in his chair and I heard a ‘clunk’ and I looked down and there it was,” Kolton’s classmate, Levi Crabtree, told CNN affiliate KGW in Portland.

The gun the boys found in the theater.

It was a gun, a small-caliber, semi-automatic pistol. It was fully loaded with a round in the chamber, Tillamook Police Chief Terry Wright said.

Levi and Kolton didn’t touch the weapon. They alerted a school staffer who was on the field trip, who then alerted police.

Why didn’t the boys pick up the firearm?

"I'm a Boy Scout and Kolton and me took a hunter safety class. One of the rules is that you treat all guns as if they're loaded," Levi told KPTV.

“Who would do that? Seriously, there’s a bunch of people that go to that theater and they put a gun in there,” Kolton told KGW.

Somebody who’s “careless” and “reckless,” Wright said.

Police told KPTV that a man went to the theater on Wednesday night asking if anyone had found his gun and turned it in to the lost and found. He’d lost it the night before in the theater.

The man, who has a Tillamook County concealed handgun license, never notified police he’d lost the weapon, KPTV reported.

Luckily, the two Tillamook Junior High School students were thinking more clearly.

"Our students reacted exactly like we would hope and that is they recognized that is was a gun, recognized that they needed to stay away and contact a teacher immediately," Tillamook school Superintendent Randy Schild told KPTV. "I hope this is a learning opportunity not only for our students, but any students that see it on TV or anywhere else."

Police did not identify the man who lost the gun but told CNN his concealed-carry permit has been revoked and information about the case was being forwarded to the district attorney.

We forward our compliments to two smart seventh-graders.

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Filed under: Education • Gun violence • Oregon • U.S.
soundoff (614 Responses)
  1. Booger

    This guy was probably hoping to stop another mass shooting.

    December 27, 2012 at 5:00 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Georgie

    Ever loose your cell phone? Slip out of your pocket? Wouldn't happen to be any explicit pictures that MINORS could see?? Sounds like a felony?? Yep he/she made a mistake and someone could have died. But no one did.

    December 27, 2012 at 5:01 pm | Report abuse |
    • Dewey

      That's why you have passwords to unlock your phone, so you were saying?

      December 27, 2012 at 11:56 pm | Report abuse |
  3. maggie

    bravo to these boys....send them out to teach other students what to do....rotten tomatoes and lettuce on the man who lost his gun and didn't report it...this could have ended so differently; tragically, the man who lost this gun put the public safety at risk.

    December 27, 2012 at 6:28 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Questions

    Thank goodness the kids who found it were mentally stable & responsible. The consequences of this could've been truly catastrophic!

    December 27, 2012 at 9:06 pm | Report abuse |
  5. dan

    I am proud of these kids for doing the right thing. They may have stopped someones plans by doing this. Kolton and Levi deserve our thanks...Way to go

    December 27, 2012 at 9:52 pm | Report abuse |
  6. dan

    I don't think it would be that easy to forget a gun it is a little hevier then a cell phone. M yabe that should be a law that you have to wear a a holdster that straps gun in place. That way no one can say ah I forgot it.

    December 27, 2012 at 10:00 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Dewey

    Is this what people refer to when they say criminals will get guns regardless?

    December 27, 2012 at 11:57 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Dylanssbrown

    Glad the boys had taken the hunter's safety course! Treat all guns as if they are loaded, the first rule.

    December 28, 2012 at 12:53 am | Report abuse |
    • Fnordz

      Which means that you don't treat them as if they'll go off by touching them.

      December 31, 2012 at 2:48 am | Report abuse |
    • OMG

      Let me go back and read it again, Is this guy a law bilding legal gun owner??? as well as the monther of the killer in newtown, duh? Do you want to send your kids to the movie with this gun owner sitting the the theater room?

      December 31, 2012 at 1:27 pm | Report abuse |
    • cpuenvy

      OMG... I would never send my children to a movie theater these days, they are a complete rip-off. But go to any shopping center or other public place (not designated as a gun free zone) and you will find many people legally concealed carrying. Calm down.

      December 31, 2012 at 3:26 pm | Report abuse |
  9. ccc

    The school staffer could have cracked and killed all the students. The kids who had the gun should have said nothing and waited to leave.

    December 28, 2012 at 2:24 am | Report abuse |
    • Generous Joe


      December 28, 2012 at 10:05 am | Report abuse |
    • Reb

      I hope your are merely being facetious. If not – then when some people get what they want – and certain individuals based on what they say anonymously are put on a list - I hope you are on the list of people to NEVER be trusted with a gun!

      December 29, 2012 at 3:06 pm | Report abuse |
    • JMBrown

      Really??? Where did this comment come from? Not funny.

      December 31, 2012 at 9:10 am | Report abuse |
  10. Geoff

    An example of why people shouldn't be allowed to carry around guns. Woops i lost my gun? really? idiot.

    December 28, 2012 at 12:59 pm | Report abuse |
    • Roscoe

      Common on now, the Chief of police of Orlando, Fl. Val something, lost her gun as well had her duty weapon stolen. BTW, this would have gotten the officer on the beat fired or at least demoted, but the Chief simply got a new gun. This is they type of people we elect to very sensitive positions.

      December 28, 2012 at 1:43 pm | Report abuse |
    • Reb

      Air Marshal left his gun in the bathroom stall at the airport. FBI agent left his gun in the seat pocket in front of him. Secret Service Agent duct tapes the safety open on his Uzi and it empties the entire magazine in the overhead bin of a commercial aircraft when they take off, the nose comes up. and the UZI in a bag slides backwards and starts firing.

      December 29, 2012 at 3:09 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Mary

    "Derpy derpy doo. I left my loaded gun in a theater where someone might sit on it an accidentally set it off putting lots of innocent lives at stake...oh wells, drop it off in the lost and found will ya?"

    Thank god he lost his permit. If only we could revoke the gun of every person who acted this irresponsible and stupid.

    December 29, 2012 at 1:13 am | Report abuse |
  12. please grow up

    . . . and if one of the kids had picked up the weapon without knowing what to do with it and it went off. . . not to worry because guns don't kill people. Innocent 12 – year olds do.

    December 29, 2012 at 6:15 am | Report abuse |
    • Reb

      Apparently this 12 year old is smarter than you are.

      December 29, 2012 at 3:09 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Big Country

    When it comes down to the final nut-cuttin, those that are anti-gun will be calling for the help of those with a gun... There are two types of anti-gun people. The Uneducated and the Criminals. Uneducated don't believe in the need or the use of a firearm. Criminals prefer unarmed victims.

    December 29, 2012 at 9:30 am | Report abuse |
  14. Scottish Mama

    There are way more law abiding gun owners than not. Mentally unhealthy people will be able to get guns, just like Lanza, lock up your guns people, take an NRA class, and I think we should be able to bear arms and protect ourselves when we need to.

    December 29, 2012 at 9:45 am | Report abuse |
    • John

      How do you protect yourself if the gun is locked up?

      December 29, 2012 at 10:23 am | Report abuse |
  15. Jester

    Its half wits like this Concealed Handgun Licensee that are going to hurry along the gun control issue. What a maroon Im taking up a collection to buy that bo-bo some sense with a tether so his mommy can tie his sense to his wrist so if it were to fall out of his pocket like that gun did his bo-bo question of "Whats that pulling on my arm?" could be simplfied for his simple self.

    December 29, 2012 at 2:09 pm | Report abuse |
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