'It's absolutely terrifying,' says volunteer after gun found at Everett park

Neighborhood volunteers in Everett made a disturbing discovery this weekend as they were out clearing out away trash at a local park. (KOMO News)

EVERETT, Wash. -- Neighborhood volunteers in Everett made a disturbing discovery this weekend as they were picking up trash at a local park.

Volunteers with Take Back Our Neighborhood teamed up with Delta Neighborhood Association to clean up several parks by picking up trash and drug paraphernalia.

Carla Swanson and other volunteers were cleaning up Henry Jackson Park on Saturday afternoon when they found a handgun.

"I was shocked," Swanson said.

Swanson said she first thought it was just a toy.

"When it actually fell out of my grabber, that's when I noticed the heaviness of it," she said.

Fortunately, it was not loaded. Authorities were able to pick it up after she called 911.

"I’m relieved that I’m the one who found it as opposed to a child --especially with it being a baseball field and park and kids running around this area all the time ," said Swanson.

"It's depressing, it's disappointing. And it's absolutely terrifying," said Jasmine Jones.

Jones is a mother of two young children and they come to Henry Jackson Park several times a week.

"My kids play over where the gun was found," Jones said. "They play in and around those trees. Thankfully, my kids are knowledgeable with guns; they know not to touch them. Any kid could have touched it and picked it up and put it in their backpack, not knowing it was a real gun."

Jones and Swanson and many others who live in the area started regular neighborhood cleanups. They said they're tired of finding syringes, drug paraphernalia and trash in their parks.

"Hopefully this is the last time, first and last time, we see this happen," Swanson said.

Police say the unloaded gun was not stolen. No word yet who the gun belongs to.

Volunteers say in addition to the unloaded gun, they found 16 syringes at Henry Jackson Park on Saturday. Volunteers found a total of 44 syringes at various parks and areas around Everett that day.

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