Teen with airsoft rifle draws massive police response near Covina


COVINA >> Deputies swarmed a neighborhood in unincorporated county area near Covina after concerned residents reported seeing a young man on a roof with what ultimately turned out to be a replica assault rifle that fires plastic BBs, authorities said.
The incident kicked off just before 5 p.m. at a two-story home at San Bernardino Road and Woodgrove Avenue, directly across from the Tri-Community Adult Education Center.
“We received a report of a person on a roof with a scoped rifle ,” Sgt. Joe Bolanos of the sheriff’s San Dimas Station said. At least one additional witness also subsequently called officials to report seeing the apparent gunman.
Deputies surrounded the home and ordered the occupants out, Bolanos said. A family comprised of two parents and four sons complied and cooperated with deputies.
0328_NWS_SGT-L-AIRSOFT2It was determined that the possible gunman worried witnesses reported seeing was actually a teenage boy who lives at the home, Bolanos said. He had been carrying an “extremely realistic-looking” airsoft rifle with the appearance of an assault weapon on a second-floor deck attached to the house. Witnesses did not report seeing him firing the gun, which shoots plastic BBs.
After checking the home to make sure there was no real gunman, deputies advised the family to be more careful in displaying the airsoft guns in the future. No arrests were made.
Bolanos recommended that airsoft aficionados “only use and display those airsoft (guns) in the designated areas where they compete and play. Never, ever in the city, and especially near a school.”
The nearby adult school was placed on lockdown and traffic on San Bernardino Road was shut down for about an hour as officials sorted out the situation.

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