District: Kids arrested with BB gun after city school lockdown

Sean Philip Cotter
Parents wait as officials keep Ferguson Elementary School on lockdown after reports of a student with a gun in York City on Thursday, Feb. 11, 2016.

Two juveniles with a BB gun were arrested near Ferguson K-8 school Thursday afternoon after the school was locked down when someone reported a student inside had a firearm, according to city schools spokeswoman Erin James.

York City Police were called to the school at 525 N. Newberry St. about 10  minutes before the normal 3:45 p.m. dismissal for reports of a gun inside the school; they immediately placed the building on lockdown as they searched the area, keeping all the students in school for about 35 minutes after they usually would be let out.

No one in the school was hurt, according to police on the scene.

It's against city ordinance to have a BB gun; violators can face a summary citation. The news release said the BB gun "might have been" the weapon someone reported seeing in the school. Possession of a weapon on school property is a first-degree misdemeanor in Pennsylvania.

K-8 schools in York City do not have metal detectors, James said.

Parents waited in the cold outside the school for their kids to be let out.

George Marros was picking up his two kids, ages 12 and 14. He said he got a call from one of them, his daughter.

"She called me from the school phone, telling me they were in lockdown and they wouldn't be getting out soon," he said.

Several of the parents waiting outside expressed anger about what they said was a lack of communication from the school. As they waited for their kids, a few said they'd only found out what happened through Facebook.

"We wanna know what's going on," said Bianca Howard, who was waiting to pick up five kids from the school. "There needs to be better communication."

James said a robocall either had been issued or would be soon, after all the information had been verified.

"The worst feeling as a parent is not knowing," Howard said.

York City Police continue to investigate the incident.

— Reach Sean Cotter atscotter@yorkdispatch.com.

Parents wait for their children at Ferguson K-8 after a student was apparently found with a gun there earlier. Dawn Sagert