Gun Found In Teddy Bear Christmas Gift To Harlem Foster Child [VIDEO]
The Newtown tragedy that cost the lives of twenty students age six through seven caused a strong national response as parents and authorities vowed to better protect our children. However, this will be no easy task.
On Christmas morning, 8-year-old foster girl Natasha Brunson was excited to receive her gift from a church gift collection. Upon unboxing her adorable teddy bear, Brunson also discovered a handgun at the bottom of the package.
Assuming it was a toy also a toy, Brunson waved the gun around and showed it to her friends. Thankfully, the gun was unloaded.
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What was supposed to be a festive Christmas morning almost turned into a nightmare. Natasha Brunson's foster mother Sheeba Anderson said, "This is something you never expect on Christmas. I feel like we narrowly avoided what could have been a terrible disaster. I couldn't calm down all day."
The mother of six foster children in all, Anderson picked out presents for her kids from St. Anthony's Church in SoHo.
Brunson told New York Post about the incident. Taking the bears out of the box, Brunson said, "I thought they were really pretty so I was squeezing the bears and just starting to play with it."
In the box, Brunson also felt something hard and assumed it must be a stand for the bear. "But then I reached in and took out a gun. I thought it was another toy that fell inside the box."
Thankfully, the gun was missing a firing pin and there were no bullets inside. Police say it appeared to be a start gun, such as the ones used to fire blanks to start a race.
Worried that there would be other dangerous hidden substances, Sheeba Anderson inspected the other gifts and called the police. "Who knows what else was going on with this bear? It could have had drugs or needles or anything else in there"
Speaking with the Post, Anderson said, "I treat these kids as if they are my own. I also expect ACS to feel the same way. This is the last thing I would have expected. Security has to be improved. These are anonymous donations. They could have come from anywhere and anyone."
The organization responsible for handing the donated toys to St. Anthony's Church was a nonprofit group called Edwin Gould Services for Children and Family. The group was contracted by the Administration for Children's Services.
In response to the incident, ACS and Edwin Gould Services are working together to investigate "how and why an inoperable weapon was discovered in a foster home. We are concerned when any potential risk in a foster home comes to our attention, and are working to ensure that all of the children in the home remain safe."
Watch the video below as Sheeba Anderson speaks with CBS 2:
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