Police say student who brought an airsoft gun to Westbrook school won't be charged – Press Herald

An 18-year-old student who had an airsoft pistol in his car at Westbrook High School, prompting a lockdown Friday morning of four local schools, will not be charged with any crimes, police said.

Westbrook High School, Westbrook Regional Vocational Center, Westbrook Middle School and Canal School went into lockdown at 9:16 a.m. after reports of a man with a gun entering the high school. Police responded immediately and searched the school room by room, and an alert from the school department soon indicated the students and staff were safe. The lockdown lasted about an hour.

Westbrook police questioned three students – two 18-year-olds and a 16-year-old – involved in the incident. At a press conference Friday morning, Police Chief Janine Roberts said one of the students could face a misdemeanor charge for carrying a firearm on school property. In a statement later, she said no law was violated.

“Because an airsoft pistol does not expel a projectile by the action of an explosive, it is not considered a firearm by Maine law,” Roberts said.

Because no charges will be filed, the students will not be identified. Earlier in the day, Roberts stressed that a fake gun is still a real threat.

“It’s a significant threat because when officers are faced with someone with a fake weapon, we don’t know,” she said.

An investigation determined the three students were in a car in the school parking lot with what was ultimately determined to be an airsoft pistol. Airsoft guns are typically replicas of real firearms that shoot small plastic pellets, according to the website airsoftking.com. They include spring-, electric- and gas-powered guns. When fired, they could cause pain and bruising. At close range, they could break skin.

Another student saw one of the 18-year-olds holding the airsoft pistol in the car

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