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Police take custody of Solon High School student carrying 'airsoft pistol'

School leaders say there was not an active threat since the weapon is not considered a real gun.

SOLON, Ohio — A Solon High School student is in custody after being found carrying an "airsoft pistol" inside of the building.

According to Solon Police Department Lt. Bill Vajdich, officers responded just after 9 a.m. Tuesday to a report of a student seen with what appeared to be a gun concealed in his clothing. The 17-year-old was taken into custody and found to have an "airsoft pistol," which Vajdich explained is not considered a firearm, but similar to a BB gun.

The student was taken to the Solon Police Department and his parents were notified. Vajdich says the case will be sent to the Cuyahoga County Juvenile Court for a possible charge of “Illegal Conveyance or Possession of a Deadly Weapon or Dangerous Ordnance or Object Indistinguishable from a Firearm in a School Safety Zone.” 

Solon High School Principal Erin Short sent the following message to families of students:

"Dear Solon High School Families,

"Earlier today, a student was taken into police custody at Solon High School following a report to school administrators that a student was seen with what appeared to be a gun concealed in his clothing. Administrators and the Solon Police quickly investigated and determined that the weapon was not a real gun. The student had an airsoft pistol, or facsimile firearm. There was no active threat to the school or students. 

"The speedy resolution to today’s incident was a result of our student body using the reporting tools available to them and taking to heart our important motto of See Something, Say Something. Informing administration immediately meant the situation was addressed by the school and Solon safety forces within minutes. The safety forces in conjunction with administration made a tactical decision to not put the school in lockdown to expedite apprehension of the student.

"As a reminder, in situations such as this, students are asked to find an administrator or other trusted adult immediately. For other situations, students can access the anonymous Safe School Helpline by texting, calling or submitting an online report:

"TEXT: Text 614-426-0240 and type TIPS as the message

"WEB: www.safeschoolhelpline.com

"CALL: 800-418-6423, ext. 359

"All students are fine and the school day is continuing as usual."

“It’s not the kind of email that you hope to get but I have a lot of faith in the Solon Schools,” said Julie Sukert, who has a freshman daughter at the school. “I’m completely anti-gun and all of that. So I don’t even know what that was and what business they had bringing that to school. I don’t know what they were planning on doing with whatever that was. Kids shouldn't be bringing that to school, obviously."

Jillian Mann, the mother of a sophomore at the high school, said the email from the school stirred up a range of emotions in her.

“When I read through the email, my feelings were like up and down because they were caught, but then it ended up being a false alarm," she shared. "It wasn’t real. So, it was a lot of relief, and I was really just happy with how the school handled it and it’s sad that it has to happen, that these things happen. Just thankful we got through today. Hopefully tomorrow will be another good day.”

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