A mother in East Texas was shocked to find her 1-year-old son playing with a gun in their rental car.
The car had been rented from the Enterprise in Longview, Texas. The boy’s mother told ABC affiliate KLTV that son Matthew found the gun in the center console of the vehicle when she stepped out of the car for a moment.
“We got home, thinking everything is cool; fine, I step out of the car for a second,” Jaymie Bates told the station. ”I get back in the car and my son was in the backseat playing with a pistol.”
She immediately returned the car to the Enterprise where the manager filed a police report.
Enterprise spokeswoman Lisa Martini said the company is investigating what went wrong. ”We will revisit with all of our service agents the proper procedures to make sure this doesn’t happen again,” she said in an email. “We have a very formal training process, instructing all of our employees on the proper cleaning of a vehicle, including inspections for customer belongings. We are very sorry this happened and are working to make sure it doesn’t happen again.”
Bates said, “The bottom line is my 1-year-old was playing with a pistol. It could have gone off, anything, I could be burying my son. What is a mother to do or think?”
It is unclear whether the gun was loaded, but it turns out the gun Matthew found wasn’t the only one found that day.
A police report said a manager told officers he had found another gun in a different car on the lot, according to KTRE.
“Our manager found a gun in one of our vehicles during the return process of the car and followed proper procedure by notifying local police,” Martini said. “On return of each vehicle, our procedure is to clean everything including checking under seats, in the glove compartment, in the center console and in door compartments. The safety of our customers is our top priority.”
Both guns were mistakenly left behind by the previous renters of the vehicles, according to the police report, KTRE said.