A realist-looking pellet gun could have drawn a more severe response from officers responding to a fight

COURTESY PHOTO - This realistic-looking pellet gun could have evoked a severe response from officers who responded to a reported fight involving a gun. When Forest Grove police got the call about a fight near Forest Grove High School involving a gun Wednesday, Jan. 4, they slammed on the gas and turned on their flashing lights.

Multiple people involved in the fight took off running when police arrived, including a 17-year-old African American youth who was armed with a black, realistic-looking gun, said FGPD Capt. Mike Herb.

Officers were on high alert because when they arrived at the school they were notified that a concerned citizen had sent information earlier that day about a Snap Chat social media post from the same boy flashing a gun. At the time, neither the citizen nor the police realized it wasn't a real firearm.

"The gun ended up being an airsoft gun but you wouldn't know it until very closely examining it," Herb said.

During the chase, the boy ditched the gun in a field, but officers found it later.

They detained several of the fight participants and arrested the boy with the gun for disorderly conduct.

They also notified the boy's mother and talked with her about the dangers of her son carrying a realistic looking gun.

"This could have ended far more tragically than just an arrest," Herb said.

By Jill Rehkopf Smith
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