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Sultan Middle School gets a brief scare this week
April 26, 2018
CLICK TO ENLARGE: This is the repica, look-alike Glock G-26 Air Soft toy gun that cost a suspected bank robber his life in King County nine years ago.
(SULTAN, WA.) – Sultan Middle School went into lockdown mode for a time on Tuesday after a student brought to school a gun.
In a statement posted onlilne, Sultan School District Superintendent Dan Chaplik said that 9:23 am Tuesday, “Sultan Middle School administrators were notified that a student brought and carried a gun today while at school. The campus went into lockdown immediately and all students were safe during the duration of the lockdown.”
Chaplik said administrators “responded immediately” to the report followed by the school resource officer and by the Snohomish County Sheriff’s Department.
Deputies arrested the student, swept the building and released the lockdown. It turned out the child did not have a real gun after all.
“After the student was secured and searched the Snohomish County Sheriff’s Deputies identified the gun as an airsoft pistol that was modified to look like a real pistol,” said Chaplik who also noted that bringing a weapon of any kind to school, “Whether it is real, modified to appear real, or is a toy, is never acceptable and will not be tolerated.”
He says the student will face sanctions according to Sultan School District Board policy.
Misuse of Air Soft guns can have tragic consequences
On Sept, 12, 2009 the Sky Valley Chronicle reported the following story:
“It was a tragic death that need not have occurred but for the presence of a toy gun.
It turns out the man shot and killed by King County Sheriff’s deputies Thursday was carrying a toy gun described as an “Air Soft” gun, a type of toy BB gun that fires round, 6mm plastic BB type pellets at very low, toy level velocities.
Air Soft guns have surpassed in popularity in recent years the old copper BB type toy guns. Kids around the world now opt for Air Soft guns over the old copper BB guns.
The sheriff’s office says this particular Air Soft gun was patterned after the Glock G-26 semi-automatic pistol, which is carried by some deputies and officers. Often the Air Soft pistols look strikingly like a real firearm.
King County sheriff's spokesman Sgt. John Urquhart said, "Detectives and officers didn't realize it was a replica gun until it was picked up as evidence several hours after the shooting. The orange marking used on replica guns was removed or painted over by the suspect."
Three Shoreline officers, who are King County deputies assigned to Shoreline, fired their own weapons at the suspect after Urquhart said the suspect drew what they believed was a real pistol.
The dead man was identified as Jason W. Williams, 32, by the King County Medical Examiner's Office. Why he would allegedly draw a toy gun on officers carrying real firearms remains unknown at this time.
HOW IT HAPPENED
Williams was shot and killed in the parking lot of the Hollywood Casino in Shoreline Thursday afternoon.
The sheriff’s office says the shooting followed a hold up at a nearby credit union that happened just before 12:30 p.m.
Officials say two men walked in and robbed an Alaska Credit Union branch, which is contained inside a Safeway grocery store at the corner of North 155th Street and Aurora Avenue North.
A sheriff’s spokesman says two witnesses to the event followed the men from the bank as they drove north on Aurora Avenue in a red pickup and dialed 9-1-1 to report the general location and direction of travel of the robber’s vehicle.
Sheriff’s deputies confronted the suspects after they exited the vehicle. They say one of the suspects, Jason Williams, pulled a gun and was shot at least once by each of the three deputies. Williams died on the way to Harborview Medical Center.
The sheriff’s office says the second robbery suspect was subdued with a high-voltage, dart-shooting Taser gun and arrested.
Three officers fired shots that day; one was a 50-year-old sergeant who has been with the Sheriff's Office for 19 years. Another officer is a 40-year-old detective who has been with the force more than seven years and the third officer is a 32-year-old traffic officer who has nine years of experience.
Their names have not been released. The officers are on paid administrative leave, as is standard protocol after an officer-involved shooting.
The second suspect, whom the FBI has identified as a “serial bank robber,” was allegedly not complying with officer commands so police used a stun gun on him then took him into custody.
That man, says the FBI, is the suspect they had earlier dubbed the "Fashion Faux Pas Bandit." The 47-year old man is responsible for at least four bank robberies and one attempted bank job, according to FBI spokesman Marty Prewett.