PORTAGE, Ind. — Portage police say a man was arrested and another taken into custody after they were spotted walking with realistic-looking airsoft guns a short distance from a middle school, triggering a soft lockdown of schools in the area, although they “appeared to have had no ill intentions.”
According to police, they received multiple reports of two male subjects carrying guns in the vicinity of Fegely Middle School around 7:30 a.m. Thursday. They were both described as being white males in their early 20s, carrying what appeared to be a rifle or shotgun and a handgun. Police were already patrolling schools in the wake of the school shooting in Parkland, Florida on Wednesday, and located the two individuals after an initial search.
“These subjects, both believed to be at least 18 years of age thought it would be a good idea to walk to the woods with Air Soft guns to shoot at targets,” Portage Police Chief Troy Williams said in a statement posted to Facebook.
While Williams said the two appeared to have no ill intentions, one was arrested for False Informing and the other was brought back to the police department for further questioning. Williams went on to acknowledge that reports of men with guns near a school likely caused concern among school staff, parents, and students, a day after 17 people were shot and killed at a Florida school.
“Today/Tonight would be a good time to have a conversation about being aware of events in America and that our actions have consequences,” Chief Williams said.
Photos shared by police show the airsoft guns, a realistic-looking rifle and two handguns. While they’re technically toys, they are made to resemble real guns.