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Police respond in full force to gun scare at Greenville school

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Reports of two teenagers carrying handguns put a Greenville school on lockdown for an hour Tuesday morning, but police eventually found out the guns were fake.

It happened at the Children's Montessori School on Hungate Drive just before 10 a.m.

9 On Your Side had the first news crew on the scene and reported it first on our website.

More than a dozen officers set up a perimeter around the school after a teacher reported seeing two teenage boys nearby carrying what looked like handguns.

"I was concerned for the school and the kids and if they locked the school down or whatever kind of protection they had," said Kevin Gardner, whose nieces attend the school.

The school went on lockdown and within an hour, Greenville police tracked down one of the boys. They discovered the 16-year-old didn't have a real gun at all, but rather an Airsoft gun. It looks just like the real thing, but instead shoots small, plastic BB-type pellets that police do not consider dangerous.

"In light of events that have occurred here in this city and in other cities, we take every event seriously," Lt. Carlton Williams said. "Whether it's a toy gun, or whether it's a real gun, we don't know until we arrive and find out exactly what's going on."

Police drove the teen away in the back of a cop car, but eventually released him. Neither of the teens will face charges since they never actually brought the replica weapons onto school property. 

As for the relief family members of students felt after it was all over, "It's a blessing," Gardner said.

There are city ordinances that prohibit people from firing certain weapons within the city limits. Lt. Williams says these Airsoft guns are legal here. In fact, Greenville police officers use them for basic shooter training.


Related Story: Virginia boys suspended for using fake guns in front yard
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