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Article 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.

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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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