Two juveniles were charged with disorderly conduct and unlawful possession of a firearm, both felonies, following an incident at the end of last Friday’s Homewood-Flossmoor High School football game.
Tod Kamleiter, Flossmoor’s deputy police chief, said the two youths will be referred to Cook County Juvenile Court. One of the suspects, a Hazel Crest resident, is an H-F student, Kamleiter said. The other, a Matteson resident, attends another area high school.
According to a Flossmoor police report, the incident began about 10:15 p.m. Oct. 23, when, at the end of the football game, witnesses reported seeing one of the suspects remove a gun from the waistband of his pants and point it at a female student. The suspects had been arguing with the girl and members of a group that was walking toward the parking lot at H-F’s South Building, the report states. One witness said the suspect “waved the gun around” and that the girl and her friends ran away.
Another witness, an off-duty Lake County (Ind.) sheriff’s deputy, also saw the incident and told high school personnel that one of the suspects had a gun. A handful of Flossmoor police officers were on the scene as part of the H-F security detail. The officers moved toward the two suspects and the sheriff’s deputy told the youths to halt. One of them stopped and was detained by police.
The other suspect ran away but was stopped shortly afterward by police and security personnel near the main entrance to the South Building.
The suspect who ran away later told police that the other youth had given him the gun – a Sig Sauer 4.5 mm BB pistol – before he was stopped by officers. That suspect said he threw away the pistol while running from the officers.
Witnesses at the high school identified the two suspects as the persons who had threatened the girl and her friends, the police report states.
The two youths were released to the custody of family members, the report states.
On Monday, H-F Superintendent Von Mansfield and Principal Ryan Pitcock sent a letter about the incident to parents.
“We wanted to take this opportunity to remind everyone that the safety and security of our students is always our No.1 priority,” the letter says. “School events are carefully coordinated and systematically staffed with security and police personnel to prevent and deal with situations that may occur at any large gathering.”
The letter asks parents to share some basic safety tips with their children as H-F students: to report any concern, no matter how minor, to school personnel; to inform students that any misbehavior will be dealt with swiftly; and to discuss the dangers of look-alike weapons like BB or pellet guns.
Kamleiter said the BB gun that was recovered looks exactly like a genuine automatic pistol.
“There is no way of knowing if it is real or a look-alike gun, especially in the dark,” he said. “This gun has a smaller barrel opening but you can’t tell that unless you take a closer look. Our officers don’t have that much time when they are faced with a situation like this.”