GOLDEN, Colo. (CBS4) – A warning is out for teenagers when it comes to real guns vs. replicas.
Jefferson County deputies say a recent case could have taken a terrible turn.READ MORE: Tri-County Health Investigating After Deer Trail School District Parents Claim Mask Mandate Is Being Ignored
Deputy Aaron Kilbon found a BB gun on Monday while checking a suspicious car full of what he said were drunk teenagers. He told CBS4 the BB gun very closely resembled a real gun.
“I would never have known that it was not a real gun,” said Kilbon, who has spent 15 year both in the British infantry and in law enforcement.
Kilbon says a 14 year-old told him about the weapon in the glove box.
“To discover that this 14-year-old kid could have potentially made a mistake, that horrifies me,” Kilbon said.
The sheriff’s office posted a photo on Twitter showing the BB gun and a Beretta gun it is meant to resemble.READ MORE: 'Shady... Cronyism' At Denver Parks And Rec Says City Council Member
They say it is hard to distinguish the difference, even to the trained eye.
Officers also took three BB guns from students in Jefferson County this week. Someone apparently saw two students with the guns.
“I think they really wanted to feel what it would be like to walk around with the gun, to carry it,” said John McDonald, the executive director of safety for JeffCo Schools.
McDonald compared one of the BB guns to his real gun and said the difference was hard to distinguish. He said the students are lucky officers who approached them were well trained.
“If a student is contacted by security or law enforcement or gets scared when contacted and reaches for this (BB) gun, there’s a tragedy in the making,” McDonald said.
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Those students are now suspended.