Boy finds deputy's gun in theater


TAMPA -- Police say a gun found by a 9-year-old boy inside a bathroom stall at a movie theater in Tampa's Ybor City neighborhood belonged to a Hillsborough County deputy.

The incident happened on Father's Day, while Zane Noland, his 15-year-old brother and his dad were attending a 3 p.m. showing of the new Superman movie, "Man of Steel."

Shortly after the film started, the boy said he went to the bathroom. The Tampa Bay Times reports he found a loaded Glock 26 on top of a toilet paper dispenser in the theater's restroom. The child then told his father, 48-year-old Marine veteran Wesley Noland.

"Dad," he said. "There's a gun." Wesley Noland says he took the firearm and his son into a private bathroom designed for families and called 911. He disarmed the gun and put it on a diaper changing table.

"We did our Superman deed for the day," Noland said he told Zane. "We protected people from getting hurt."

Police responded in minutes. Authorities took the gun and traced it to Detective Luke Hussey, a 13-year veteran at the sheriff's office. The Times reports that Hussey was off duty and at the theater to watch a movie.

"HCSO takes this matter very seriously and has already begun an administrative investigation to determine any policy violations that may have occurred," sheriff's office spokesman Larry McKinnon said in a statement.

Before learning that the gun belonged to a law enforcement officer, Tampa police spokeswoman Laura McElroy said they were looking at the possibility of criminal charges, such as reckless endangerment or culpable negligence. On Tuesday afternoon, police said they would turn the weapon over to the sheriff's office for it to handle the incident administratively.

Bradenton Herald is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

Commenting FAQs | Terms of Service