The Smith &Wesson M&P was marked “SBPD” on the slide and South Bend Police Chief Scott Ruszkowski confirmed it belonged to his department.
Discovered by WNDU’s Joel Porter at an intersection near University Park Mall in the Indiana city best known as the home of Notre Dame University, Porter stopped his car, unloaded the gun and called the police, who retrieved the weapon.
“I was hoping it was a toy gun, but it was a real one,” said Tracy Hertel, another motorist who stopped along with Porter when he saw the gun. “All I could think was some little kid could pick that up and we’d have a tragedy to talk about.”
Though Ruszkowski declined to comment on the pending investigation, Hertel was pointed in the agency’s need for transparency on the issue.
“It’d be nice if they were frank and forthcoming, and that’s up to them, too,” Hertel said. “You and I are held accountable where we work, aren’t we?”