Loaded gun found in toy aisle at Myrtle Beach Target

A woman pulls shopping carts through the aisle of a Target store on the shopping day dubbed "Black Friday" in Torrington, Connecticut November 25, 2011. REUTERS/Jessica Rinaldi

Customers got a real scare on Friday night when an employee found a real gun in the toy department at a Myrtle Beach, South Carolina Target. According to police reports, a loss prevention worker who found the gun assumed it was just a toy.

Spotted in the toy department on top of a Playskool toy box, the 9-mm handgun was loaded with eight bullets in plain sight, making many believe the placement of the gun in the toy aisle was no accident.

“I don’t think someone would accidentally drop off a gun. I think he purposely left it there for a child to pick up and think, ‘Oh it’s a toy gun,’ and accidentally point it at somebody and it goes off,” said Kennedy McClain according to WMBF News.

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The employee who found the gun told police that he had seen a suspicious man repeatedly walking around the toy department, but it's unclear whether or not he was the culprit. Police are reviewing the security camera footage in an attempt to catch the suspect, however, authorities say that the 9-mm gun had not been reported stolen.

“The safety and security of our team members and guests is a top priority for Target,” Evan Lapiska, senior specialist of Target’s Public Relations Department, said in a statement. He added that they have partnered with local law enforcement for this investigation.

Police released a photo of the suspicious man seen in the toy aisle hoping that someone can identify him, but so far there are no leads.

Some believe it may have even been a gun activist who left the gun at Target.

A petition that was launched earlier this week by Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America gained over 10,000 votes in an attempt to have firearms banned from Target Stores, after gun rights groups have held open-carry demonstrations at several Target locations.

“I wouldn’t doubt if a gun control extremist planted the gun there to further his agenda of blaming gun owners for deaths of children,” said CJ Grisham, president of Open Carry Texas, a group of gun activists who have been holding demonstrations at various businesses, including Target. “Whoever did it is a despicable excuse for a human being and should be charged with attempted murder and fried in a chair."

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