Gym class finds loaded gun left by Michigan sheriff in middle school locker room

SHEPHERD, Michigan -- A sheriff in Michigan is apologizing after admitting to leaving his loaded gun inside a middle school after a weekend event.

Students in a first hour gym class found the loaded .40 caliber Smith and Wesson in the locker room Monday and immediately told a teacher.

Isabella County Sheriff Michael Main, a 20-year veteran of law enforcement, said he didn't realize it was his until police reported finding the gun at the school, WEYI-TV reports.

The sheriff said he was attending an event at the middle school over the weekend. After changing in the locker room and leaving the school, Main said he believed the gun which he uses as a backup weapon was in his bag. It wasn't.

Main said the mistake is inexcusable. The sheriff released this statement after the gun was discovered:

"I have worked diligently my entire career to protect people, especially our youth. However, I have failed to do just that, and I'm devastated with my lack of accountability in this matter. I understand clearly that I have a higher level of standard that must be met and quite frankly I let myself, my family and the community down. No matter how busy or how much is going on there is no excuse for this and I am truly sorry. This will not happen again."

The sheriff praised the student who found the gun for doing the right thing by reporting it to an adult.

Police Chief Luke Sawyer said officers quickly took the weapon and made arrangements to return it to Main.

It is unclear if the sheriff will face any charges.