By Ryan Gueningsman
DELANO, MN Two 16-year-old males were taken into custody following an incident in a parking lot on the Delano Public Schools campus involving an “air soft” handgun Dec. 13.
At about 3:14 p.m., Wright County Sheriff’s deputies were dispatched to a school parking lot near the Delano Elementary School on a report of a person or persons with a gun, according to the Wright County Sheriff’s Office.
An off-duty West Hennepin Public Safety officer observed two males in the lot with what appeared to be a handgun.
Sheriff’s deputies located two 16-year-old males in the lot who were alleged to be involved in the incident and also located a “air soft” handgun, according to the sheriff’s office.
They were taken into custody and later released to their parents.
The case remains under investigation by the Wright County Sheriff’s Office.
“We take these matters very seriously,” said Delano Public Schools Superintendent Matt Schoen. “We’re going to follow all of the safety procedures.”
Schoen said all safety procedures were enacted. He said the timing of the incident at the end of the school day would have made it difficult to enact a lockdown if the situation had warranted it.
“Buses were already rolling and people were leaving the campus,” Schoen said. “By the time communication came to us, it was already known what the situation was and that it was contained.”
Schoen said this appears to be an unfortunate decision made by the two juveniles, and said this is an isolated incident in his tenure as superintendent.
He said the “air soft” guns look “exactly like a handgun,” with the exception of maybe an orange tip at the end of it.
“For school terminology, this is a weapon,” he said. “We’re going to take matters of this nature very seriously and do what is necessary to maintain and keep our campuses safe.”