5 Arrested After Armed Confrontation in South Suburb

Police responded to a 911 call of what appeared to be five people with loaded, lethal weapons. Now, that dangerous situation is prompting calls for change in state law

Five children and young adults between the ages of 14 and 21 were arrested Wednesday in south suburban Harvey after police apprehended them with what looked like loaded, lethal weapons. 

Harvey police responded to a 911 call of several people in a car with guns at a park shortly after nearby Thornton Township High School let out for the day.

But the weapons turned out to be paintball guns, and quick-thinking officers were fortunately able to defuse a dangerous situation. 

"You could easily once again have a Tamir Rice in Ohio situation," said gun law attorney Travis Richardson. 

"My adrenaline is still rushing. All I see is the barrel of the gun pointed at me," said responding Harvey police officer Willie Giddens. 

"Given the situation, it could have went bad fast," Giddens added, saying that training was the key that stopped him from firing. 

Paintball guns and recreational firearms are an increasing worry for every police department.

"I'm urging parents not only here in Harvey, but around the state, to step up and be responsible. Know what it is that your child has when he or she leaves the residence," said Harvey Deputy Police Chief Gregory Thomas.

Because of incidents like this, there is an effort to adjust state law and require paintball guns to be carried in cases and marked a special color.

Charges are pending against the five people taken into custody. 

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