The Sweet Springs R-7 School District, a few businesses and a residential care facility were on lockdown last Thursday following reports to local law enforcement of a missing male juvenile believed to be armed walking around Sweet Springs.
School officials said they did not believe their students were ever in danger, but locked the doors at the schools as a precautionary measure.
The 16-year-old male was apprehended by a Saline County Sheriff's Deputy at 11:47 p.m. Thursday, after a long search by law enforcement officers. Near midnight, an officer spotted the white male standing near a bush at the northwest corner at the intersection of Maple and Marshall streets.
When the officer approached the juvenile, the boy threw a handgun to the ground and raised his hands over his head.
The handgun was determined to be a 9mm Taurus Model PT111 Pro. The boy also had in his possession two 12-round magazines and 76 rounds of 9mm ammunition. The handgun was not loaded.
The juvenile was taken into custody by the Sweet Springs Police Department. The sheriff's deputy observed the boy had small cuts on his forearm. When he questioned the boy about the marks, he told the officer he had been in the woods during the last 24-hour period, according to the report.
The sheriff's report also said the teenager might have been suffering from some mental health issues.
According to text message alerts from the Sweet Springs School District, Missouri State Highway Patrol officers did visit the high school to check on the situation.
The schools dismissed at the regular time, but parents had to pick up their children at the back of the building. The doors were locked again Friday morning as a further precautionary measure.
Contact Nathan St. Clair at
The Marshall Democrat-News contributed to this article.