AMERICUS, GA (WALB) - It's a toy that could put you and your children in real danger. Americus police have a warning for parents after responding to a call about a boy with a gun.
It turned out the 12-year old was carrying an air soft pellet gun similar to one a 12-year old in Cleveland, Ohio had when police shot and killed him a year and a half ago.
Police said this isn't the first time they've caught a juvenile with one of these air soft guns. They don't want any kids walking around with one.
Body camera video shows the massive police response to reports of an armed juvenile.
The call initially came in on Thomas Drive when an off duty officer saw a kid with a gun. Officers eventually tracked him to an apartment just a few hundred feet down the road on Lonnie Lane where they realized what they had was actually a very realistic looking air soft gun.
"The gun appeared to be a real gun. From the appearance, it could fool anybody," said Lt. Terrell Coley with the Americus Police Department.
Officers took the gun and secured it before anyone was hurt. The situation easily could have escalated had officers not realized it was a fake gun.
"It really could have. Thank God for that," said Lt. Coley.
The 12-year old eventually admitted to stealing the air soft gun along with a cell phone from a nearby Walmart.
Officers want parents to keep an eye out and make sure their kids don't have the same toy.
"Those guns should never be carried around in the streets. Small kids should not have them because they don't understand the dangers they present," said Lt. Coley.
Coley said the shoplifting at such an early age by this boy is concerning. He was charged with only that crime and turned over to his mother.
Those air soft guns are actually illegal to discharge in the city limits of Americus. Lt. Coley said this is the third juvenile caught with one of these guns.