A 15-year-old Hoover High School student was booked into juvenile hall Wednesday afternoon after police say he threatened a campus security officer with a realistic-looking imitation firearm.
That prompted a widespread search of neighborhoods around the campus that lasted for several hours. Nearby California State University, Fresno also warned students and staff of the incident and distributed a photo of the boy. It it wasn’t until the boy was found that officers discovered the weapon was an airsoft pistol that looks like the Beretta pistols police carry.
The incident began place about 10:45 a.m. at the school, located near First and Barstow avenues. Lt. Joe Gomez said the student, who is on probation, ran away from a group home Saturday and the school was aware that his probation officer wanted to speak with him. When a campus assistant tried to get the student to go to the office, the student pulled up his shirt, revealing the handgun. Gomez said he racked the slide of the gun as if loading it gun and said, “You want some of this!” Gomez said the security guard ran north and the student ran south.
After determining the student was no longer on campus, the department’s Gun Crimes Unit searched neighborhoods nearby for the 5-foot, 4-inch, 150 pound student. They spotted him about 1:45 p.m. The student, who still had the gun in his waistband, began to run but then stopped and told officers not to shoot him. Gomez said that parts of the gun which distinguish it from a real firearm had been removed. He was booked on charges of brandishing a replica firearm.