Police: 12-year-old threatens girls with toy handgun in Herrin - WSIL-TV 3 Southern Illinois

Police: 12-year-old threatens girls with toy handgun in Herrin

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***UPDATED: Sunday, February 18, 2018, 10:15 p.m. ***

HERRIN -- A southern Illinois mother speaks out after a 12-year-old girl reportedly threatened her daughter with a gun, which appears to have been a toy. 

Nicole Lacey is calling for the suspect to be held accountable as the investigation heads toward the Williamson County State's Attorney's office. 

"My daughter is 13 years old and I have never been more terrified to send her anywhere," Lacey said. "I don't care if it was a fake gun, a real gun, the terror that she inflicted in my child that night was real."

Dan Snow, the owner of Snow Power, told News 3 the suspect asked to speak briefly with her cousin who was inside. Snow said he recognized her and let her in, without signing in or paying. 

"I watched her the whole time and followed her to make sure she was doing what she said she was going to do," Snow said.

Snow described how students crowded around the suspect and another girl in the gym before he dispersed the crowd. At one point, some of them went into the restroom. He said the suspect was inside Snow Power for about 10 minutes and he wasn't made aware of what happened at the time.

"You can't control what kids say or you can't control what kids do. Obviously if we could there wouldn't be any problems but you do have to be proactive," Snow said.

Lacey wants Snow Power to add more security and police to be more proactive. Snow said he's working on that by meeting with Herrin Police.

 "We all see that something needs to be done in order to ensure our children are safe and it starts here," Lacey said.

***ORIGINAL STORY: Sunday, February 18, 2018, 4:16 p.m. ***

HERRIN -- A 12-year-old girl is accused of threatening a group of girls with what the victims believed was a real handgun.

The Herrin Police Department said it received a report at 10 p.m. on Friday, claiming the 12-year-old girl had threatened several other girls at a local business and had displayed a handgun.

Officers responded to the business, but it was closed.

Investigators determined the 12-year-old suspect lived in West Frankfort.

Police made contact with the girl and found her in possession of a toy handgun.

Herrin Police said they were also made aware of posts the girl made on social media.

Authorities say the incident was part of an ongoing dispute between the girls.

Officers notified Herrin school officials.

The incident remains under investigation and the findings will be sent to the Williamson County State's Attorney's office.

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