LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department has misplaced one of its M-16 rifles, officials said.

The assault rifle, which is most commonly used by the military and law enforcement, was given to the department by the Governor’s Office of Emergency Services (OES). OES has since suspended giving surplus weapons to the Los Angeles department.

“This shouldn’t have happened. I mean there’s no way around this,” said LACSD’s Spokesman Steve Whitmore. “This is an embarrassment for our entire department.”

Whitmore initially said the rifle went missing in February, but later said it went missing more recently. An internal email was sent Friday.

“We have to not only find the weapon, but we have to show them that in fact we have fixed this problem so it won’t happen again,” said Whitmore. He said changes will be made because of what happened.

Asked by KCAL9’s Brittney Hopper how something like this could happen, Whitmore said he honestly did not know.

“Somebody who is say, injured on duty may have it at home, and just hasn’t returned it yet, things like that,” he said. “But this is not a justification. This should not occur.”


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