Berks

Student with BB gun, hunting knife triggers school lockdown

Responding police officers apprehended student

SPRING TWP., Pa. - The report of a student with a weapon prompted a 20-minute lockdown of Wilson High School in Berks County on Thursday.

"I was in the library, and then there was just an announcement that there was a lockdown," senior Katalina Smith told 69 News. "I was just a little nervous, but the teachers were reassuring."

"She sent a message to say that there was a lockdown and they didn't know why," said her mom, Rita Smith.

School administrators said they were made aware of the student possibly having a weapon shortly before noon.

That triggered the lockdown and a call to police, who responded to the school in Spring Township and removed the 17-year-old student from a classroom without incident.

"He was wearing a backpack, and in that backpack was a handgun-type weapon. It was actually a BB gun, and later we found that he also had a small pocket knife on him," said Chief Bryan Ross, Spring Township Police Department.

Officials did not say whether any threats were made, but their investigation continues.

The student, who is facing charges related to weapons on school property, was released to the custody of a guardian, Ross said.

Parents of high school students were alerted to the incident via the district's calling system and social media sites.

"We made every effort to make sure everyone was safe in the school as soon as we possibly could today," said Chris Trickett, the school's principal.

"The school acted very professionally in handling the lockdown," Ross said, "and I would ask parents to pay attention to what their children, particularly high school students, are posting on Facebook and so forth."

Officials said the incident should also serve as a reminder for students and parents to be aware of and to take seriously any potential threats.

"Please talk to your child and remind him or her to come to a teacher or administrator with any concerns regarding the safety of our schools," the district said in a post on Facebook.


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