Florida Middle School Students, Staff Notified Of Gun Threat Via Email

Key West, Fla. (CBS TAMPA) — Despite all students and staff being inside Horace O’Bryant Middle School, email – and not the school’s intercom system – was used to notify them of a weapon lockdown on campus.

Two Key West students may face criminal charges for the finding of “lethal weapon” which really turned out to be an airsoft gun, KeysNet.com reports.

“HOB has just moved into the new main office and they have been working on transferring the intercom system,” Principal Mike Henriquez said in an e-mail to KeysNet. “The intercom was not functioning. We had to e-mail staff and call team leaders to notify staff to lockdown/hold in place.”

Key West police received a call at 8:53 a.m. after one student saw some of his peers displaying what turned out to be an Airsoft gun. Department spokeswoman Alyson Crean said that the student called her parents –who then called police.

An Airsoft gun looks like a genuine weapon but only fires plastic pellets through a spring-lock device or via compressed air.

The Airsoft gun found at HOB Thursday was a replica of a .45-caliber automatic handgun.

“While we may have preferred a different chain of communication, the important thing is that the student did speak up,” Superintendent Mark Porter told KeysNet. “The student who had [the gun] said he was simply bringing it to school to return it to his friend,” who is another student at the middle school.

No one was hurt in the incident, and charges are still pending.

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