Crestview, FL – A military couple was stunned to discover that the sealed baby bouncer box they purchased at a Goodwill store as a baby shower gift ended up containing a semi-automatic rifle instead.
Veronica Alvarez-Rodriguez said she was elated when she spotted what appeared to be a brand-new Baby Einstein bouncer on sale at the Valparaiso Goodwill store for $9.99, so she made the purchase and headed to her friend’s baby shower, the Military Times reported.
When the expectant father opened their gift, he was even more elated than they expected.
“You guys got me a gun!” he shouted, according to The Palm Beach Post.
As the father-to-be proudly admired the Mossberg 715T semi-automatic rifle, Alvarez-Rodriguez and her husband tried to piece together what was happening.
“Like everyone’s laughing, thinking it’s a joke. And we are sitting there, me and my husband are shocked,” Alvarez-Rodriguez told WEAR. “Like no, that’s not supposed to be in the box.”
The situation became even more bizarre as they unpacked the box and found a magazine belonging to another weapon, as well as boxes of ammunition.
“They started pulling everything out and ammo started coming out,” mother-to-be Amber Rosax told WEAR. “Like, stuff that wasn’t for that gun.”
The rifle was not loaded, WOFL reported.
The Crestview Police Department (CPD) responded to the residence in the wake of the Dec. 1 incident, and have since verified that the firearm had not been reported as stolen, the Military Times reported.
After checking everyone’s identification to ensure they could legally possess the firearm, police initially told the expectant parents that they could keep it, WOFL reported.
But on Monday, they asked them to voluntarily relinquish the rifle until the investigation is completed. The couple immediately agreed.
Investigators said they are working to analyze the weapon’s purchase history, and said that the gun could have been dropped off at Goodwill donation collection points somewhere between Pensacola and Tallahassee, the Military Times reported.
Police have not found any evidence of foul play, and said that it appears someone dropped off the box as a donation without realizing it contained a gun.
CPD said it planned to surprise the expectant parents by purchasing them the baby bouncer that was supposed to be in the box, but that the company already shipped them a brand-new bouncer after hearing about the baby shower surprise, WEAR reported.
“We are all thankful that is was us. All of our husbands are military,” Alvarez-Rodriguez told the news outlet. “So thankfully it did end up in our hands.”