RALEIGH, NC (WTVD) -- A loaded gun was found on the East Millbrook Middle School campus in Raleigh by students who turned it in.
The Wake County Sheriff's office provides the school resource officer for the middle school and is conducting the investigation.
A spokesman for the sheriff said the handgun was found Wednesday on the ground outside one of the modular classrooms.
Parents were notified with a recorded message.
"It was just unnerving," said the mother of one student who didn't want her name used.
She added, "With all the incidents around the country and I think everyone thinks it's never going to happen at their school or with their kid. And in particular middle school."
She was pleased that students recognized the danger and took action.
"The two students who found the weapon turned it in to administration and the administration acted quickly. That sets your mind at ease that it wasn't more than that but it was still, it was just the fact that could even that close to the school that my child attends," she said.
Annie Henderson was at the school this afternoon to pick up her son.
"I think that's awful because, you know, I don't think anybody should have a gun at school. It's kind of frightening," Henderson said.
But on Friday the sheriff's department told ABC 11 that the gun was rusted.
Investigators say it is a .38 Special, an older-style revolver not a semiautomatic pistol.
And it was so rusted the revolving cylinder wouldn't rotate.
It's not clear whether the gun can even be fired.
That might dispel any theories about the gun being used at the school.
"That calms me. Makes me feel a little bit better but I think everybody's still on edge," said one mom.
"I still think, you know, that it shouldn't have been there. And it's still frightening because it could have been, you know, it could have been a gun that wasn't rusted," she said.
The sheriff's department said the case is still under investigation and that it is trying to track down information using the gun's serial number.
Parents hope they can soon draw some conclusions.