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Loaded gun found in garbage can prompts lockdown at Cook County Jail

Sun-Times file photo

A loaded gun was discovered in a garbage can Tuesday morning, prompted an hours-long lockdown at the Cook County Jail.

About 6:45 a.m., an officer was emptying garbage bags from containers in the receiving area of the jail when she noticed something unusual in one of the bags. It turned out to be a loaded Kel-Tec .32-caliber handgun, Cook County sheriff’s spokeswoman Cara Smith said.

The part of the jail where the gun was found is where new prisoners are brought to be processed for bond court, Smith said.

“It’s my belief thus far, based on everything we know, that some law enforcement agency missed this on a prisoner they were dropping off,” Smith said.

The prisoner likely realized he would be searched and discarded the gun in the garbage to avoid being charged with a new felony, Smith added.

The jail was placed on a lockdown for a thorough search as a precautionary measure, she said. The lockdown was expected to end early Tuesday afternoon.

The gun was not reported stolen, Smith said. The sheriff’s office is investigating.