Turlock High School was on lockdown Tuesday afternoon when three teens, one with what was thought to be a gun, were seen near the southwest corner of the football field.
The gun turned out to be a modified BB gun with the orange tip removed, creating the appearance of a real gun and getting a very real response from law enforcement.
Within minutes of the report, Turlock police were on scene with weapons drawn. Sgt. Russell Holeman said officers detained the three within 40 seconds and took possession of the weapon.
“Had the (BB gun) been pointed at someone it could have ended really badly for these kids,” Holeman said.
He said upon close examination, he could tell by the profile of the gun that it was a BB but, “If the barrel of the gun is facing you, I can assure you you cannot tell that it is a fake gun.”
The teen who had the gun was cited on suspicion of displaying an imitation firearm in public. Holeman said it’s also illegal to modify a BB gun to make it appear real but the teen had just purchased the gun at the flea market a few blocks away so officers could not determine who modified it.
Another teen, a runaway from Merced, was cited and released to his guardian.
The third teen was released to his parents.