Little Havana - Flagami

Was it a paintball rifle or the real thing? A Miami school wasn’t taking a chance.

A paintball rifle used in the popular competitive sport.
A paintball rifle used in the popular competitive sport. El Nuevo Herald File

In today’s heightened sense of vulnerability and mass shootings we’re coached: “See something, say something.”

Apparently, that’s what one mom did when she saw a man removing what she thought was a rifle out of his trunk near Kinlock Park Elementary School. She has an 11-year-old son at the school who told her his teacher was on the ground shielding students.

Miami police responded to the scene around 1:30 p.m. They closed Flagler Street between Southwest 41st Avenue and Le Jeune Road, set up a media checkpoint, and school officials put Kinlock on lockdown.

According to WPLG Local 10, the unidentified man was pulling out a paintball rifle, a “weapon” used in the sport in which participants shoot dye-filled gelatin capsules at their opponents to eliminate them from the game. Even with protective gear, paintball players emerge with bruises after taking a hit from the paint packets.

Penn St Football.JPG
Penn State head coach James Franklin reveals a bruise from a recent players versus coaches paintball game, at an NCAA college football media day at Beaver Stadium on Saturday, Aug. 4, 2018, in State College, Pa. Ty Lohr AP

But Miami police aren’t calling it a misunderstanding just yet. The information that this was a man with a paintball rifle “is yet to be confirmed,” said Officer Kiara Delva.

“Officers responded to the area ... in references to calls of a male seen in the area wearing a black shirt, with multiple tattoos, armed with a possible rifle,” she said. After establishing a perimeter, the subject who fit the description was detained.

Roads have since reopened.

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