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Airsoft gun found in backpack at middle school, superintendent says

An unloaded airsoft gun was found in a backpack at Riverhead Middle School Thursday morning, according to a message posted on the district website from Superintendent Aurelia Henriquez.

The message said there was “a serious discovery in our middle school boys locker room.” The gun was discovered by students who immediately brought it to the attention of an adult. The backpack was in the lost and found. The school’s resource officer, Byron Perez of the Riverhead Police Department, began an investigation as soon as it was discovered. The gun was brought to police headquarters and it was confirmed to be an airsoft gun, a type of replica weapon which fires plastic pellets used in competitive sports and for recreational purposes. Visually, they can look like real weapons.

“While there was no incident involving the airsoft gun and no evidence of intent to harm anyone, we want you to know this is a serious matter and in violation of Board of Education policy,” the superintendent said. “Weapons of any kind are prohibited on school campuses. There is nothing more important than providing a safe and secure environment for our students to learn.

“I commend the swift action of our staff and security and thank the students who found the weapon and immediately brought it to the attention of trusted adults. If you or your child have any information on this matter, please reach out to my office.”

Riverhead police did not immediately have any further information when reached Thursday afternoon.