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A man shooting at squirrels caused a 20-minute schools lockdown

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A man shooting at squirrels caused schools in Farmington to go into lockdown Monday morning.

Police were called to the downtown area around 8:41 a.m. for a report of a man firing a rifle in a backyard, a post on the department's Facebook page says.

Police said "several schools and businesses were placed in lockdown," and Forum News Service reports officials treated the call as an active shooter response.

Authorities learned a homeowner had been shooting at squirrels with a pellet gun, the Facebook post says. Apparently the man, who is in his 60s, was fed up with the squirrels on his property, Forum News Service notes.

The man wasn't arrested, with police telling the publication "he felt pretty bad about it ... there was no intent."

The four schools – Boeckman Middle School, Dodge Middle School, Riverview Elementary School and Farmington Elementary School – were in "modified lockdown" for about 20 minutes, according to Farmington Public Schools. That means all the doors are locked and no one is allowed in or out of the school building.

The district says this was done at the request of the police department.

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources says taking a "nuisance animal" that causes damage – such as a squirrel – is generally legal. Though there might be city ordinances that regulate how you can take it (such as with a firearm).

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