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‘Suspicious men’ who prompted Portage school lockdowns were carrying pellet guns

The Portage Police Department confiscated pellet guns from two men who were spotted walking with them a few blocks from a middle school on Feb. 15, prompting lockdowns at Portage schools. | Portage police

Two people who prompted calls to police about armed men which resulted in school lockdowns in Portage, Indiana, were actually carrying pellet guns to shoot targets in the woods, according to police.

The Portage Police Department received multiple reports at 7:39 a.m. of two men walking near Mulberry Avenue and Brown Street carrying guns, police said. One of them was reportedly carrying a rifle or shotgun while the other had a handgun.

Police announced at 10:39 a.m. that they had located the men, who “thought it would be a good idea to walk to the woods with Air Soft guns to shoot at targets,” Police Chief Troy Williams said a statement.

He said the men “appeared to have had no ill intentions,” but that one of them was arrested for providing false information and the other was taken to the Portage Police Department for further questioning. Their pellet guns were confiscated.

Portage Township Schools and private schools in the area were all placed on a soft lockdown earlier that morning because the men were spotted a few blocks away from Fegely Middle School. 5384 Stone Ave. in Portage, police said. A police officer was stationed at each school.

The lockdowns were lifted shortly before 11 a.m., according to a statement from the Portage Township School Corporation. The rest of the school day will continue as usual.