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| Crime |

Denver cops' standoff with gun-toting teens who broke into school: Did they have BB guns?

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The 1999 Columbine shootings continue to cast a long shadow over schools nationwide, but especially in the Denver area. Case in point: The national media immediately perked up at news overnight that two juveniles with long guns had apparently broken into not one but two local schools and were involved in an hours-long standoff with Denver police.

At this writing, a potentially lethal plot looks a lot less dangerous, since the weapons involved may have been BB guns. Details and videos below.

As Denver Police Chief Robert White detailed at a rare early morning news conference (we've got portions of his address here), an alarm went off just after 9 p.m. at Greenwood Academy, 5130 Durham Court -- an area seen in this Google Maps screen capture:

Cops rushed to the scene, finding only a broken window.

Then, another report -- this one from Noel Middle School, at 5290 Kittredge Street.

Employees at the school are said to have seen two males enter the school carrying what appeared to be long rifles and a bag of some sort.

The cops responded to the scene in force, as depicted in this Denver Police Department photo:

In addition, the DPD kept social-media users alert to the situation via tweets like this one, sent at 12:14 a.m.:

What followed was a three-hour standoff, as police tried to coax the suspects out of the otherwise unoccupied building. They finally accomplished the task at about 3 a.m., after which White met the media. At the time of the conversation captured below, the weapons had not yet been recovered -- but they were found a short time ago. Here's a tweet relating the development.

A followup tweet adds:

The takeaway? The teens may have been involved in vandalism, but were probably not planning a Columbine-style ambush.

Here are two videos featuring Chief White.

Send your story tips to the author, Michael Roberts.

More from our Follow That Story archive circa April 2009: "Forgiving my Columbine High School friend, Dylan Klebold."

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