Three teen boys are facing felony charges after Mesa County deputies say they tried to rob someone with a BB gun then led them on a chase.
Central High School and Grand Mesa Middle School officials placed the schools on a "shelter in place" order while deputies searched for the suspects for nearly an hour.
It happened just before 11am on Wednesday. The sheriff's office got the call from a witness who told dispatchers they saw three people trying to rob someone at gunpoint on E 1/2 road just off of 31 1/2 road.
The Mesa County Sheriff's Office responded with assistance from the Colorado State Patrol, the Grand Junction Police Department and K-9 units.
The sheriff's office made reverse 911 calls to neighbors in the area between E 1/2 and F roads off of 31 1/2 road to let them know they were searching for robbery suspects in the area.
The sheriff's office arrested the three teens and say the 14, 15 and 16-year-old had two airsoft BB guns and three knives.
"Fortunately today turned out favorably and there weren't any injuries," said Heather Benjamin, spokeswoman for the Mesa County Sheriff's Office.
However, the sheriff's office says the situation could have easily escalated because during the search, deputies didn't know the guns weren't real.
"That causes a lot of alarm and elevates the situation," said Benjamin.
Gun experts at Gene Taylor's say there are few things that indicate an airsoft is not a real handgun.
"The ergonomics and feel of the airsoft is very similar to a real gun and from far away it looks authentic," said Dan Gray with the sporting goods store.
Gray says the store doesn't sell the guns to anyone under 18. He says without adult supervision, these BB guns could be dangerous.
"I wouldn't let my kid run around with one of these without supervision," said Gray.
Niether Gene Taylor's or the sheriff's office wanted to expand on what could have happened during Wednesday's incidents except to say they're glad nothing else did happen.
The sheriff's office tells 11 News the boys BB guns did not have an orange tip. Tamper with an orange tip is against federal law according to warnings on the airsoft BB guns' boxes.
11 News has chosen not to release the names of the teens because they haven't been charged.
Deputies say the teens are facing several charges including attempted aggravated battery, a felony, and unlawfully carrying a concealed weapon, a misdemeanor.
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