Pokemon hunters find loaded gun in Hazel Dell field

Brothers Nathan (left) and Emmanuel Schmaltz found a loaded gun in a Hazel Dell field while playing Pokemon Go, July 12, 2016 (KOIN)

HAZEL DELL, Wash. (KOIN) — Two Pokemon hunters came across more than Weedles and Pidgeys on their hunt.

Brothers Nathan and Emmanuel Schmaltz had just gotten off work around 8 a.m. when they decided to go look for Pokemon in the Hazel Dell area. They left their apartment in the 9000 block of NE 15th Avenue and decided to go to downtown Vancouver.

“There’s more Pokemon action I guess you’d say,” Emmanuel said. But before they went, they spotted Gloom and tried to track it down. They came to a fence, but noticed a hole in the fence.

“We’re like, ‘OK, I guess we could go look,’” Nathan said. They split to search and then Emmanuel said he happened to see a handgun on the ground.

“I take my sleeve because I’m, like, I don’t want my fingerprints on this thing, and I, like, kind of pick it up carefully and I notice there’s live rounds,” Emmanuel said. “I set it down and left it right there and called the police.”

This gun was discovered while two men were playing Pokemon Go in Hazel Dell. (Clark County Sheriff’s Office)
This gun was discovered while two men were playing Pokemon Go in Hazel Dell. (Clark County Sheriff’s Office)

Deputy Brian Wade arrived and recovered the Smith & Wesson model 16-4 .31 Magnum. It was weathered and rusty so it appeared to have been there for a while, but was likely still capable of firing rounds.

The deputy, Nathan said, “was asking about the game, too. He was like, ‘I’ve heard a lot about this. What is it?’ And he thanked us and everything and what not.”

Nathan, 30, and Emmanuel, 24, plan to keep playing Pokemon Go. “Of course. We’re having fun,” he said.

They said they were shocked to find the loaded revolver in a field between 2 apartments where children live.

“I would definitely prefer us to find it over a kid or someone younger, because we know we wouldn’t do anything crazy with it,” Nathan told KOIN 6 News. “Don’t want anything negative happening around here.”

“It could have been a different story,” Emmanuel said. “I’m glad it’s somewhere safe, that’s about it.”

Deputy Wade agreed. “It might’ve led to a tragic incident, if it weren’t for the Pokemon searchers,” he said in a statement.

Deputies told KOIN 6 News the gun does not show up as being lost or stolen. It is now in police custody.

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