Gilbert High Schooler's "Toy Rifle" Causes Lock-Down Hours After Sandy Hook Massacre
If you had to pick the absolute worst day in American history to bring anything resembling a weapon near a school, that day would have been Friday, December 14, 2012.
Hours after 26 people -- including 20 children -- were shot to death at the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, a Gilbert parent called police after he thought he saw a student with a rifle walking on the campus of Williams Field High School.
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According to a brief from Gilbert police, this call came in about 10 minutes shy of 4 p.m., after classes had been dismissed for the day.
Still, there were after-school activities involving students going on at the school, which was then placed on lock-down for the next half-hour.
According to police, the student in question returned to the school when he saw all the cops show up.
"He explained he took a prop replica gun home that day from a school project," a Gilbert police spokesman says. "The gun was a non functional rifle he carried home after school."
It's not clear how long the student had this "non functional rifle" in or around the school. New Times' call to Gilbert police for additional details was not immediately returned, but we'll update this post when they get back to us.
"No threats and no crime occurred," according to the Gilbert police brief.
According to a message from Williams Field High School principal Shawn Lynch, the parent showed school administrators cell-phone pictures he'd taken of the student with the apparent rifle, and the school called police after seeing the photos.
Lynch describes the object the student was carrying as a "wooden toy rifle."
The incident is now subject to an administrative investigation by the school, but police note that the department appreciates people reporting suspicious activity "regardless of how small the situation may seem."
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