JANESVILLE — Police reminded a Janesville boy of the gravity of recent shooting deaths after reports Thursday that he was walking around his neighborhood pointing a look-alike assault rifle at passing vehicles.
Police were called to the 1600 block of Lexington Drive after reports at about 2 p.m. Thursday of a male in camouflage brandishing an assault rifle at passing traffic near the corner of Black Bridge Road and North Lexington Drive on the east side.
Several officers rushed to the area, blocked off nearby streets and told neighbors to stay inside their homes as police armed with SWAT assault rifles searched yards around nearby homes.
Police soon learned that a 12-year-old boy inside a home at Lexington Drive and Black Bridge Road had a BB gun made to look like an AR-15 semiautomatic rifle, according to a police sergeant on scene.
The sergeant said the gun was a "very convincing" replica with no markings that distinguished it as a BB gun. He said the boy was dressed in camouflage and was seen walking around the neighborhood with the gun.
Officers did not confiscate the gun, and the boy was not cited because he apparently did not shoot the gun outside.
In the wake of the recent officer shooting in Wauwatosa and the school shooting in Newtown, Conn., people are on high alert over guns, the sergeant said.
Police explained to the boy that he had alarmed motorists, police and people in the neighborhood and that it's a bad idea to walk around in public openly brandishing any kind of a gun.