"Parents," reads the latest Facebook post from the St. Louis Park Police Department. "We do not recommend allowing your children to run around public places with replica firearms."
It seems like pretty obvious advice, but evidently someone sure could have used it on Friday, when two kids carrying toy guns created an intense (and potentially deadly) situation in a local park.
Police say it began when they received a report about a teen in said park holding a pistol. When officers arrived to investigate, one of the two teens came dangerously close to getting shot when he ran and pointed his (fake, as it later turned out) weapon at the cops.
He was "running and turned toward officers with one of the guns in his hand and pointed it in the direction of one of the officers," the Facebook report says. "The teen then grabbed a second weapon from his waistband."
Thankfully, the department says, "something about the situation did not seem right to the officer," and he was able to "figure out (the gun) was a toy."
Authorities tell KSTP the two boys, ages 13 and 14, were "briefly detained at the scene" and later released to their parents – who "expressed concern" about what had happened.
"Fortunately this potentially dangerous situation ended well," St. Louis Park Police said.
Real consequences involving fake guns
Not all such situations have ended so fortunately.
There have been a number of high-profile incidents involving police officers opening fire on and killing children who were carrying toy weapons.
One of the more recent is the case of Tamir Rice, a 12-year-old Cleveland, Ohio, boy who in 2014 was shot to death by a local officer while carrying an airsoft replica pistol (which had had its orange-colored safety tip removed).