A recent incident in St. Louis Park, Minnesota, ended with a warning about kids, toy guns, and law enforcement.
Kathryn Kottke was out for a walk with her family when she noticed three teens carrying what appeared to be guns.
“I didn’t know if these two boys were upset with each other or if they were playing a game, but on the 911 call, I did tell the person I’m not sure if it’s an Airsoft or a real gun, but it looks real,” Kottke recalled.
Police promptly responded to the call, but the circumstances were far from ideal.
“When the officers got out of the car, the one child heard either the car or the officer, and he turned around with one of the pistols in his hand and ended up pointing it in the direction of our officer, who drew his weapon, believing he was in danger of somebody with a pistol,” said Sgt. Paul Barnes with the St. Louis Park Police.
To add even more stress to an already tense situation, the teen with the gun in his hand reached into his waistband and pulled out a second gun. But the officer issued commands to the teens who – immediately and without hesitation – complied and cooperated completely.
The guns turned out to be fake, no shots were fired, and nobody was injured, although the situation – which is strikingly similar to the 2014 incident at a Cleveland park in which Tamir Rice was killed – could have easily turned out very different.
“I’m really, really pleased that the officers took that extra split second to just wait a moment and make the right decision because it doesn’t always happen that way, and it’s important to recognize when it does,” said Mayor Jake Spano of St. Louis Park.
The teens were turned over to their parents and officials urged parents everywhere to think twice before letting their children run around with fake guns.
[ WALB ]