A juvenile found near school grounds with a loaded handgun prompted a lockdown at Newark Memorial High School today, a Newark police commander said. Cmdr. Bob Douglas said that a police officer patrolling a condominium complex near the high school spotted a group of teens he believed to be truant students. The group of between four and seven juveniles scattered when the officer approached, and some jumped a fence and fled into school grounds, Douglas said. Police detained three juveniles, he said, and found that one of them had a loaded handgun. Because one individual was found with a gun, and other members of the group had escaped onto school grounds, police put Newark Memorial on lockdown shortly after 11 a.m., he said. Officers established a perimeter and SWAT teams were called out to assist in searching the school, classroom by classroom. Douglas emphasized that the gun was found near, but not on school property. “There’s no hostage situation here, there were no shots fired in campus,” he said. After officers cleared each classroom, students were relocated to the gymnasium to await release to anxious parents, he said. Police have not confirmed whether the juveniles are Newark Memorial students. The teen who had the handgun was arrested, Douglas said. He did not have information on the others who were detained. Police proactively patrol the nearby condominium complex because residents have complained about the grounds being a hangout spot for truant students, according to Douglas.
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