On Halloween night around 9:15 p.m., the Livermore Police Department got a call from Las Positas College’s Campus Safety and Security Office. A group of five people with what looked to be a gun were spotted in the parking lot.
Every officer was pulled to campus in a full tactical response. Upon arrival and a full tactical approach, however, what looked to be a real gun was actually airsoft, in the possession of four students and a non-student.
“But what if they were real guns?” said Campus Safety Supervisor Sean Prather.
About 80 cameras, both interior and exterior, are located around campus. That night, campus safety officers Sugi and Gardner spotted on one of the security feeds from the exterior of building 1600 a group of five people in Parking Lot C with what looked like an AK-47. Following protocol, every LPD officer on duty was called to the campus.
The police approached the group and asked the people to drop their weapons. The group complied with the orders and was detained while they were searched. The police discovered that the gun was not real. There were three airsoft assault rifles, including a realistic looking AK-47 and another AK-47 look alike with a folding stock and orange tip. In addition, there were two spray painted airsoft handguns. Other weapons were found in their vehicles along with spray paint and cardboard for coloring the weapons.
“Everything went really well,” Prather said. “My staff handled it really well.”
Due to the presence of the illegal weapons, the group was given a citation and released. Criminal charges will be filed with the District Attorney, however, pending the results of a criminal investigation.
Vice President of Student Services Diana Rodriguez will be in charge of deciding if any disciplinary action will be taken against the students. She has no comment at this time, as the incident is currently under review.
The situation closely resembles a different occurrence that took place just a few weeks ago in Santa Rosa, Calif. A sheriff’s deputy shot a 13-year-old boy because the boy was carrying a plastic gun that strongly resembled an AK-47. Had the group at LPC on campus not complied, the situations would have been identical.
Prather said, “Don’t bring anything that looks like a gun onto campus.”