BERKELEY – A Central Regional High School teacher was shocked after finding a small handgun in her purse, but a subsequent investigation determined that it wound up there on accident.
The incident actually happened back on Dec. 12, but has been making the rounds this month because of all the publicity surrounding the school shooting in Parkland, Fl. and the debate over whether teachers should be armed.
Karen Horen, 70, had found the gun in her purse when she was starting her day and brought it to Principal Douglas Corbett. Corbett then radioed the officer in the school, Sgt. Joseph Robertazzi, to come. Robertazzi noted in his report that he removed the loaded magazine and cleared the chamber (which was empty). Another officer noted in the report “The weapon did not appear to have been fired recently, if at all.” Also, he said that there was an “unknown object” placed in the chamber of the gun.
Multiple officers responded to the school, since Horen had left her bag unattended for approximately 10 minutes before starting her day. Security video was watched and saw that no one had tampered with the bag.
Within minutes, they were able to find that the gun had been registered to her husband, Ian Horen. The police report described that Karen Horen had gone into the family safe for something else and may have accidentally put the gun in, or had it fall into her purse. The two items were next to each other in the safe.
Both Karen and Ian Horen were questioned about the incident, and at the end of the investigation, police decided it was an accident, and that there was no malice involved. The Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office later agreed. There were no charges.
The gun was a Guardian 32 ACP. The gun’s manufacturer describes it as “one of the few guns that fits comfortably in your pocket. The combination of small size, high quality, and great stopping power have made it our most popular Guardian.”