Brookhaven Police catch two pre-teens playing dangerous 'prank' | News
BROOKHAVEN, Ga. — It was an incident that's had police officers in Brookhaven asking the question, "What if?"
According to a post on the department's social media page, officers were dispatched to a Brookhaven neighborhood over the weekend after a 911 caller said she saw an armed person standing over another male subject pointing a gun at his head.
Police said what the caller said next may have saved lives. "It might be kids playing or it might not be," the caller said. "I don't know but it sure as hell isn't funny."
"It was very good that she told dispatchers that because dispatch relayed that to the officers," Brookhaven Police Maj. Brandon Gurley said.
When the responding officers asked what the two were doing, they boys told them they were “playing a prank on passing motorists by pointing the guns at each other and trying to be funny.”
Although no one was hurt, police cautioned that the incident could have had vastly different outcomes.
"Had an individual been passing through this neighborhood that was armed and felt that they would have been protecting someone, this incident could have ended very differently," Maj. Gurley said.
Typically Airsoft guns have an orange or red tip on the end of the barrel to indicate it is not a real gun. But police say they have recovered weapons from criminals that are real and have red tips painted on them by the perpetrators. "Their attempt is to make that real gun look fake in hopes that they would delay a response from a police officer that they encounter, maybe they get the shot off first," Gurley said.
This incident happened to end well for the two pre-teens, but it is not the first time law-enforcement has had to respond to calls involving Airsoft toy guns.
In 2014, police killed John Crawford III inside an Ohio Walmart after picking up an Airsoft rifle from a store shelf.
That same year, Tamir Rice was also killed by a Cleveland, Ohio police officer after they mistook the toy gun he was playing with as a real weapon. That was not the case for Brookhaven police.
“Thankfully,” the officers wrote, “the responding officers recognized the situation for what it was and no one was harmed.”
They went on to say: “We really try our best 24/7 365 days a year to do the right thing and make the right choices. It can be extremely difficult to do this in the seconds we have to process the situation. We only ask if you have young children to use this incident as a learning experience and discuss with them the importance of making smart decisions and being safe.”
PHOTOS | Tamir Rice shooting video