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Near Mistaken Identity

The Loudoun Sheriff's Office is warning parents of the danger of giving airsoft BB guns to children after an incident at a elementary school in June.

Surveillance video released Monday shows five masked subjects entering Potowmack Elementary School in Sterling armed with what appears to be rifles. Sheriff's deputies responded to the school around 10:27 p.m., June 2, after learning that several apparently armed subjects were inside the building.

As it turns out the subjects were all teenagers who were carrying four airsoft BB guns. The teens had been playing on the grounds of the school when it started to rain and they found an unlocked door into the school.

Airsoft BB guns are replicas of actual firearms and can be divided into three groups by what powers them: spring powered, electric powered and gas-powered.

The Sheriff reminds those residents with BB guns that the weapons can only be discharged in the unincorporated areas of the county except those areas zoned A-3, A-10 or A-25 under the Loudoun County Zoning Ordinance. Those zoning classifications for the most part fall west of Route 15.

The five teens, all of whom are 14-year-old boys, were located and no one was injured. The juveniles, whose names are not being released due to their age, were turned over to the custody of their parents. Petitions have been obtained for each teen for unlawful entry, trespassing and weapons violations.