Cell phone photo of airsoft gun causes stir at New Jersey high school

Police were called to a high school Wednesday morning in Lacey Township, New Jersey, after a student informed school officials of a photo circulating among students depicting what appeared to be two handguns.

Officials were concerned because the photos looked to be taken from within the school. Safety protocols were initiated by the school staff and several law enforcement officers, including detectives and the chief of police, responded to the call at about 9:30 a.m., according to a press release from the Lacey Township Police Department.

School staff were quickly able to determine which students were involved in circulating the photo, as well as the student responsible for snapping the shot. Those students were detained and isolated while their belongings were searched for any signs of weapons.

No weapons were found and authorities said that there was never any threat posed to either the staff or other students, and the matter was able to be resolved in a timely manner without raising unnecessary alarm or disruption in the school.

Several of the students who were believed to be involved in the incident, were later discovered to have no involvement, and the photo was traced back to a single student.

Upon further investigation, authorities determined that the cell phone photos had been taken last week and while the guns appeared to be real, they were actually airsoft guns. Apparently the student brought two of the guns to the school in his backpack, and took pictures of them with his cell phone while in the school. The student, who is known to often play with airsoft guns while not in school, then sent the picture to several other students.

The airsoft guns were “entirely improper in a school environment,” and while no threat was ever present, both the school administration and the Lacey Township Police Department are treating the incident seriously, the police said.

The incident is still under investigation and it is unknown at this time if the student will face any charges. However, authorities said the parents and children involved have been very cooperative with the investigation.