Armed police searched a family’s home looking for a gun – and discovered it was a toy cowboy gun.
Thirteen officers and a canine unit surrounded Gemma Sterland’s home after receiving a tip about a gun in her car.
Police cars lined the street when officers knocked on the door and asked who was in their home.
Gemma came to the door with her hands up – before realizing the gun was a toy she had bought for her five-year-old son Charlie the day before.
Although the incident ended amicably, Gemma said it was terrifying.
She added, “The neighbors must have thought we were running a drug ring.”
Gemma and her husband Mark, 43, an airline pilot, bought the plastic gun the day before as a gift for Charlie.
They had come early for an appointment at the hospital to see his grandma.
The couple, also parents to 13-year-old Aodhan, went to a Smyths toy shop where Charlie picked out a £12.99 Gonher Cowboy pistol.
Gemma, 39, chief dietician, said: “As soon as we got back in the car he wanted to look at it so Mark took it out of the boot, took the packaging off and gave it to Charlie.”
The next day, Gemma received a call from a neighbor to tell her that police had cordoned off their £520,000 four-bedroom detached property in Studley, Warwicks.
Gemma said: “I thought she lost track.
“Then there was a pounding on the front door and someone yelled, ‘Police!’.
“I was terrified and my mind was racing.
“I had no idea what had happened.”
But when police told her they were investigating a report of a gun in the trunk of her Ford Kuga, she realized what had happened.
Charlie grabbed his toy to show the officers.
Gemma added: “Although it scared us, we are so glad the police investigated properly.
“They were really professional and couldn’t have been more apologetic.”