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posted: 10/17/2012 2:33 PM

Palatine schools safe after soft lockdown

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Palatine High School and two nearby elementary schools went under a soft lockdown for about two hours Wednesday after a report of youths playing with a gun in a neighborhood near to the schools, police said.

The Palatine Police Department received a call around 11:15 a.m. from a resident in the 1500 block of Winslowe Drive who said she saw a group of five male teens playing with what appeared to be a handgun in the courtyard of the Palatine Square Apartments complex, said Palatine police commander Mike Seebacher.

Per the suggestion of police, Palatine High School, Virginia Lake Elementary and Jane Addams Elementary went into a soft lockdown, resulting in nobody being allowed in or out of the schools.

"This is a plan that's been developed years ago as a quick, responsible way to prevent any threats from coming into school if there's one in a nearby neighborhood," Seebacher said.

Police who arrived at the scene located three Palatine High School students who said they were playing with what they said was a pellet gun. Shortly after, police located a fourth teen in an apartment on Winslowe Drive who was in possession of a pellet gun.

Seebacher said the gun was confiscated and the lockdowns were canceled around 1:30 p.m. He said police are still looking for the fifth teen and charges are likely. The teens' names could not be released because they are all juveniles, Seebacher said.

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