UPDATED, 3:55 p.m., Oct 16: A 17-year-old Owings Mills High School student is charged with possession of a dangerous weapon and disruption of school activities after he brought a BB gun to school Tuesday morning.
There was no real gun, no shooting and no injuries, police said in a press release. Police don’t believe any students were threatened, according to a press release.
Police officers were dispatched to Owings Mills High School at 10:04 a.m. for a report of a person with a weapon. Students said they saw someone holding a weapon and place it in their waistband, police said.
School administrators placed the school on lockdown and then called 911. Police canvassed the area initially because the student’s whereabouts were unknown, the release said.
Officers who watched surveillance footage found that the suspect’s description matched the description of a student who was in the school’s main office for something unrelated. Police searched the student and found an Airsoft BB gun on him.
Airsoft BB guns look like real handguns and shoot plastic pellets, according to Lt. Stephen Doarnberger, assistant commander of the Baltimore County Police’s Franklin Precinct.. A 15-year-old who used a similar Airsoft gun in an attempted robbery in Owings Mills on Monday, Oct. 8, was arrested and sent to the Charles Hickey School in Parkville last week.
The student, an Owings Mills resident, was placed under arrest after police found the gun and will be charged as a juvenile. The student was in custody 22 minutes after officers were dispatched, police said.
Police hadn't interviewed the student as of a 2:30 p.m. press conference, so his motive is not known, they said.
Owings Mills High School was still on lockdown a half hour after the call because officials were reviewing video surveillance to make sure there was no one else involved in the incident, Doarnberger said.
Baltimore County Public Schools spokesman Charles Herndon said principal Diane Garbarino sent a recorded phone call to families about the incident through Connect-Ed, an emergency notification system.
Police spokeswoman Elise Armacost urged residents to be wary of rumors they hear about such incidents, noting that an Owings Mills student had contacted a parent and said a shooting had taken place.
"We live in an age where information spreads instantly," she said. "The information that you get first may not be accurate."
This incident comes in the wake of the Perry Hall High School shooting, in which one student shot a classmate during the first day of school, and another incident in which another student displayed a handgun and threatened his teacher and students at Stemmers Run Middle School in Essex.