Toy guns prompt lock down of Fallon high school campus
Nevada Appeal News Service
FALLON – Churchill County High School was locked down for about an hour Friday while school officials and police investigated a report of a student on campus with a gun.
After a search of students and backpacks, police found two toy guns in the possession of two 16-year-old boys, said Fallon Police Chief Russ Brooks.
CCHS Principal John Riley said a student saw another student open his jacket before school and show a third student a handgun. The witness reported what he had seen to a staff member between 8:30-8:40 a.m. but didn’t know the boy with the weapon, Riley said.
“He did not know his name but was able to give us a description and saw the student go into the math building,” said Riley. “I had called police.”
Riley showed the witness a book with photos of students but he couldn’t pick out a picture of the person he saw.
The principal said he decided then to place the school in lock-down, which prevents students from entering and leaving.
Staff and police officers walked through all the math classes looking for someone who matched the description of the student who reportedly had the weapon but did not find an exact match.
Riley decided the situation was serious enough that it warranted a pat-down search of math students, along with their bags or backpacks.
“After about 10 or 15 minutes we located the student. He had a pellet gun in his possession,” Riley said.
Brooks said when the first teen was interviewed, he told police another student had a toy gun also.
Both students were taken into custody and interviewed by authorities. Police handled the investigation after the pupils were removed from campus.
The lock-down was lifted at about 9:45 a.m.
Any time a weapon is found on campus, Riley recommends expulsion. The matter goes to the Churchill County School Board and a private hearing is held to discuss the circumstances of the incident. The board decides what punishment is appropriate.
“Weapons or things that look like weapons are completely banned on school property,” Riley said.
Heather Manues, 17, said the announcement over the school intercom system about the lock-down didn’t worry her at all. She expressed disgust because some of her peers don’t use common sense.
“We had so many last year,” she said about lock downs. “We get so many, it’s getting old. I wish people would grow up and start being mature. We’re high school students, not second-graders.”
David Trubell, 17, agreed, saying he is a hunter who respects weapons but could get in trouble if a gun is left in his vehicle when he comes to school.
“You’ve got people who have handguns and have never been trained. I don’t think anyone should be allowed to have a gun unless they take hunter safety. This makes us all look bad,” he said.
Brooks said because of school shootings throughout the country, it is foolish for anyone to bring something to school that resembles a gun.
He said the boys told authorities they “were going to mess around after school” as the reason they brought the toys to class.
— Contact reporter Marlene Garcia at firstname.lastname@example.org.