A Sentinel High School student who brought a replica gun to the school parking lot to show off to friends prompted a short lockdown of the school campus before classes started on Wednesday.

Lydia Arnold, public information officer for the Missoula Police Department, has details.

“Missoula Police responded to Sentinel High School at the start of school to a report of a person standing near a vehicle handling what the caller described as an assault rifle,” Arnold began. “The on-site School Resource Officer initiated a lockdown and multiple officers responded to Sentinel High School. Any threat or potential threat of violence to our schools is taken very seriously.

Arnold provided more details about the incident.

“A student was located on the campus of Sentinel High School with a replica rifle,” she said. “Officers located the student outside the school and determined the weapon to be an all-black firearm with a scope. The student cooperated with the police. There is no threat to the public and based on the initial investigation, it appears the student was showing the splatter gun to friends before school and had no intention of harming the school .

MCPS spokesperson Tyler Christiansen also provided this comment.

“The school was closed very briefly,” Christiansen said. “We had received a report of a weapon before school started in the morning. We went into immediate confinement while the police were called. This follows our district safety protocols. Our staff immediately worked with law enforcement to investigate the situation, and they very quickly confirmed that the school was not in danger. No threats were made against individuals or the school community, so the lockdown was lifted again before school started in the morning and the school day resumed as normal.

Arnold concluded the report with a warning to students and parents.

“The Missoula Police Department understands the enjoyment children derive from replica toy guns, but we ask all parents to remind their children not to bring guns, toys or the like onto school campuses” , she said. “The Missoula Police Department would like to thank the caller who saw something of concern and said something.”

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