A potentially serious situation at Parkview Tower was averted by officers from the Montevideo Police Department on Sunday evening.

A potentially serious situation at Parkview Tower was averted by officers from the Montevideo Police Department on Sunday evening.

At approximately 7:12 p.m., officers were dispatched to Parkview Tower in response to a call from a resident who reported seeing two individuals walking on the fourth floor balcony with assault style rifles. Interim Chief of Police Ken Schule said: “Officers did not know ahead of time what exactly the situation was, as the caller only gave limited information. Even after officers spoke directly with the caller, not much new information was obtained.”

Due to the uncertainty surrounding the situation, dispatch radioed for surrounding agencies to assist with the call. Both the Chippewa County and Yellow Medicine County Sheriff’s Departments responded, as did the Clara City and Granite Falls Police Departments.

According to the MPD, officers located a group of juveniles inside a fourth floor apartment. The juveniles were in possession of several air soft guns, which included a replica of an AR-style assault rifle, a shotgun, and a handgun. “All of the air soft guns had their safety orange ends either cut off or painted over, and because of this, all of the guns were confiscated,” said Schule.

Air soft guns are a special type of very low power air guns which fire spherical plastic or biodegradable resin projectiles. They are safely used in competitive shooting events and also for recreational shooting when proper protective gear is worn.

Due to their low power, the pellets do not penetrate the skin, although bruising can occur if pellets strike unprotected skin. It is always recommended to wear protective eyewear when firing air soft guns.

Many air soft guns are manufactured to closely resemble real weapons. To distinguish them from real weapons, many manufacturers paint the barrel tips with safety orange paint.

Over the years there have been a handful of police shootings as a result of air soft guns being mistaken for real weapons.

According to the police, the parents of the juveniles were called to come and pick their kids up from Parkview Tower. “It’s a good time to remind people that air soft guns, bb guns, and paintball guns cannot be fired, per city ordinance, within the city limits of Montevideo,” said Schule.

No charges were filed as a result of the incident.

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