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Student with air pellet gun arrested at Evanston high school

A 19-year-old Evanston Township High School student was arrested and charged with disorderly conduct Wednesday after police found a plastic air pellet gun in his backpack.

Evanston Police responded to the school about 1 p.m. after a student told a security officer he thought he saw a student with a gun, Evanston Police Cmdr. Jay Parrott said.

Officers found the plastic Airsoft gun in the backpack of a 19-year-old student, Parrott said. It shoots only plastic pellets, but it looks like a black semiautomatic 9 mm handgun.

“Unless you were up close looking at it, it would be hard to distinguish,” between the toy gun and the real thing, Parrott said.

Air guns are prohibited by Evanston city ordinance, so a citation was issued to the student, who also was charged with disorderly conduct, a class C misdemeanor, Parrott said.

“While this was not an actual weapon, any report of an alleged weapon at school or on school property is considered serious and will not be tolerated,” District 202 Supt. Eric Witherspoon said in a message to parents Wednesday afternoon. The student was removed from school property immediately and will disciplinary action from the school, the message said.

Witherspoon asked parents and students to continue to report any suspicious activity to school officials.

Students, parents and staff may send an anonymous message to the school’s Text-A-Tip message line by texting “ETHS” to 274637 (CRIMES) between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. on school days.

Police could not say Wednesday night what grade the student is in or why he brought the air pellet gun to school.

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