UPDATE: Parents, kids react to pellet gun 'misunderstanding' - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

UPDATE: Parents, kids react to pellet gun 'misunderstanding'

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Linn County deputies investigate at Alburnett High School after a long gun was found on school property Wednesday afternoon. Linn County deputies investigate at Alburnett High School after a long gun was found on school property Wednesday afternoon.
ALBURNETT (KWWL) - Officials now say a long gun originally thought to be a rifle at an eastern Iowa high school turned out to be a pellet gun one student was returning to another.

A 17-year-old male student was located and questioned by the Linn County Sheriff's Office on Wednesday afternoon following reports that someone with a rifle was in the vicinity of Alburnett High School.

It happened around 2:30 p.m. Multiple witnesses called police saying they saw a man carrying a 'long gun' on school property. Police have now determined it was not a firearm, but a BB or pellet gun.

Students were loading the buses for the first day of summer vacation, when their teachers called them back inside and locked the doors.

“Our teachers told us to be silent,” said 8-year-old Caitlin Benesh. “I was feeling really, like, sad and scared.”

Around that time, Travis Gallagher's son, a sophomore, called him.

“He just told me that there was a gun in school and he wasn't sure what was going on,” Gallagher. “The school notified me and just said that there was a lockdown. I didn't know any information about what was going on yet.”

When deputies arrived and locked down the school, they found a pellet gun on a school bus parked in front of the school. Deputies say the pellet gun had a resemblance to a working rifle. Soon after, parents were told to come get their children.

The 17-year-old student told deputies he believed he had permission to bring the pellet gun onto the school bus and was just trying to bring it from his friend's house to his own house.

The suspect was released to his parents. Sheriff Brian Gardner said he did not anticipate charges would be filed in the incident.

Gallagher said he just feels lucky this wasn't another tragedy.

“Oh, yeah, it can happen anywhere,” he said. “Small schools, big schools, small communities. It's scary. I think it's on everybody's minds now after it's happened so many times.”

Police credit the quick response to recent ALICE active shooter training conducted at the school.

Assisting the Linn County Sheriff's Office were the Iowa State Patrol, the IDOT Motor Vehicle Enforcement Division, Hiawatha Police and Cedar Rapids Police.

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Police say the situation at Alburnett High School has been resolved as of 3:20 p.m. Wednesday.

A long gun was found on school property, according to the Linn County Sheriff's Office, but no shots were fired and no one was threatened. The high school was locked down as a precaution.

Students were not being allowed back in the school, but were being released to their parents, according to Linn County Sheriff Brian Gardner.

Because the lockdown occurred Wednesday afternoon at dismissal, students still inside the school building were locked down inside the school, while others already outside were evacuated to a nearby church, Gardner said.

One person has been detained in the incident but so far has not been charged with a crime, according to Gardner.

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An eastern Iowa high school was locked down Wednesday afternoon after reports of a person carrying a "long gun" at or near the school, police said Wednesday afternoon.

The Linn County Sheriff's Office said there were no reports of shots being fired and no reports of anyone threatening anyone with a weapon as of Wednesday just before 3 p.m.

"The are has been secured and a long gun has been located on school property," said Linn County Sheriff Brian Gardner in a written release. "We believe the situation to be under control at this time."

Officials at Alburnett High School said they were in the midst of dealing with an incident but provided no further information just before 3 p.m.

Police were still on scene investigating Wednesday afternoon.

Stay with KWWL and KWWL.com for more information as it comes in.
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