A SWAT team was called to a Denver middle school Monday after a janitor said he saw two suspects walk in with what appeared to be rifles and a backpack; however, police say the rifles were actually similar to BB guns.
Two teenagers were arrested after they broke into a Denver middle school with guns overnight and ransacked classrooms, police said early Tuesday.
The two 15-year-old boys surrendered at the scene after a "cat and mouse game” with officers lasting several hours, Denver Police Chief Robert White told reporters.
A SWAT team and bomb squad officers surrounded Noel Middle School, in the northeast of the city, after cleaning workers reported seeing two intruders carrying what appeared to be rifles at about 10 p.m. local time Monday (midnight ET).
Security camera footage confirmed the pair were carrying guns and bags when they entered the school, White said.
Apart from the cleaning workers, the school was empty at the time.
Neither the weapons nor the bags were found when the two were detained, White added.
However, the Denver Police Department later posted to its Twitter feed that the weapons had been found during the subsequent search of the school. "What appears to be assault rifles are more than likely BB guns," the update said.
"Several classrooms have been ransacked inside the school," the update said.
BREAKING: DPD has found the weapons brought in the school. What appears to be assault rifles are more than likely BB guns. #NoelMS— Denver Police Dept (@DenverPolice) November 5, 2013
"Fortunately, due to the workers at the school, and the cameras, we were able to determine what had happened,” White told Denver station KUSA.
"It appeared that one individual had made entry to the school and was waving the other individual into the school," White said of the security camera footage.
"The camera showed what appeared to be rifles," he said.
The two arrested juveniles are thought to have been responsible for an earlier broken window at Greenwood Elementary School, about one mile away, White added.
This story was originally published on Tue Nov 5, 2013 4:23 AM EST