WHEELING - A report of possible gunfire caused a slight commotion on Wheeling Island on Tuesday morning, but police believe the shot came from a pellet gun.
A resident called police around 11 a.m. reporting a shot fired in the 200 block of North Front Street. The male subject reportedly pointed a gun upward, possibly at a tree, and fired it before tucking it into a hooded sweatshirt or his pants and leaving the area, according to Deputy Police Chief Martin Kimball.
"We think it was a kid with a pellet or a BB gun. ... We did a pretty thorough search of the Island, and we couldn't find this individual," he said.
Photo by Ian Hicks
A police cruiser travels west on New Jersey Street on Wheeling Island just before noon Tuesday, shortly after a resident reported seeing a man fire a gun on nearby North Front Street.
Officers also were unable to locate a weapon, and Kimball acknowledged they can't say for sure what type of gun the person fired. But he said the man's behavior was "not characteristic of someone firing a real firearm."
Multiple police vehicles could be seen patrolling the Island, but residents there mostly seemed to be going about their business as usual as officers conducted their search.
Kimball said the department promptly alerted officials at nearby Madison Elementary School of the situation. According to Ohio County Schools Superintendent Dianna Vargo, the incident did not interrupt classes and caused minimal disruption for students.
"Madison Elementary School received a call from the Wheeling Police Department requesting that students remain in the building and that school doors be locked while police investigated a report made to central dispatch. ... The school was notified a short time later by a resource officer that the police investigation was complete."