Merriam teen points air rifle at police, believed they were part of a game

MERRIAM, Kan. - Merriam police had a scare on Thursday after a teen pointed a rifle at the officers.

"The only thing that stopped me from pulling the trigger was seeing the small orange ring," said Master Police Officer Corey Herron.

It all turned out to be part of a game. Police said three people were practicing tactics for an Airsoft game they had planned on Thursday.

Police said they had gotten a call about people walking around in camouflage, armed with rifles in the 6300 block of Robinhood Lane. While investigating, a 15-year-old pointed his rifle at the officers. One of the officers saw the orange paint on the barrel of the gun and told the teen to drop the weapon.

The officer acted quickly after realizing the gun was an air rifle. The teen said he thought police were part of the Airsoft game they'd planned. The teen was taken into custody, but no charges have been filed.

Andrew Sittenauer who has organized Airsoft games around the Kansas City area believes the teenagers need to be properly trained.

"I am quite disappointed really because there are real legitimate options. There are real places to go with like minded people who are doing it in a very safe environment," Sittenauer said.

Sittenauer stresses safety because he understands the dangers since the Airsoft guns look very realistic.

"Even if it has the orange tip when you're 100 yards away and you see some kids running around with guns you don't know if it's real or not."

Sittenauer says the closest Airsoft range is about an hour outside of Kansas City.




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