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Hunting Accident File > VIOLATIONS > 2007

SD - Gunman was hunting near middle school

By Josh Verges - Argus Leader
January 11, 2007

The gunman who locked down Axtell Park Middle School for two hours last month was hunting squirrels, police said Wednesday.

A teacher driving back to the school Dec. 19 reported seeing someone holding a gun out the passenger window of a car one block north of the school. He alerted police, who searched the school while students stayed in their classrooms.

Doug Simmons, the school's resource officer, said two students from an unnamed Sioux Falls high school have been identified as the driver and passenger in the car. The students, 16 and 17, will face juvenile charges for disorderly conduct, he said.

The students and a rear-seat passenger got rid of the gun - it turned out to be a BB gun that looked like a law enforcement handgun - and hid in a friend's house while police searched the school, Simmons said.

"They were pointing a gun at squirrels. It had nothing to do with Axtell Park Middle School," Simmons said.

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