Hoover locked down after gun scare

GLENDALE — [Updated] Police briefly locked down Hoover High School on Thursday morning after students were seen with what turned out to be a prop gun from the drama department, officials said.

The fake weapon was supposed to be locked up, Glendale Police Sgt. Tom Lorenz said, and school officials were looking into how it got out.

"It should have been secured," he said. "It's unknown why it wasn't secured."

No injuries were reported in the incident.

At 8:47 a.m., a student reported seeing fellow classmates playing with what appeared to be a handgun during class, said Elena Heimerl, spokeswoman for the Glendale Unified School District.

District officials notified parents from the high school, as well as from Keppel Elementary and Toll Middle schools across the street on Glenwood Road, she said. Both schools were also temporarily locked down.

"The most important thing is that everyone acted appropriately, and all were safe," she said.

A school resource police officer immediately responded, as did 18 other police units who secured the campus while they searched for the fake weapon, Lorenz said.

Police found the prop gun and allowed students to return to class about 9:09 a.m., he said.

"Luckily it was not a real gun, but I think it was an excellent exercise in responding to a situation that may have been the real thing," Lorenz said.

The drama class was transitioning from plays, which Principal Jennifer Earl said may explain the misplaced prop.

Students who are enrolled in the drama class generally know the rules about playing with those types of props and how they should be handled, she said.

The music class was likely not familiar with those rules, Earl added.

School officials, she said, will continue to investigate the incident.

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