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MARLTON, N.J. (AP) — A 14-year-old boy crouched in the schoolyard outside a New Jersey elementary school with a fake gun hoping that police would take the threat seriously and shoot him to death, authorities said.
The Marlton boy had a steel replica handgun outside the J. Harold Van Zant Elementary School in Evesham Township on Monday, forcing it to go into lockdown, police said.
Two parents saw the teen near the basketball courts. One informed the school and the other told her husband, who is a state trooper.
Two off-duty state troopers tackled him, and he was taken to a mental health facility for treatment.
Police said Tuesday that the teen told them that he hoped the threat would prompt officers to kill him. Investigators don't think the teen meant to harm any students, teachers or residents.
The fake weapon, they said, "could only be determined to be a replica firearm during a physical examination after the incident."
The teen is charged with aggravated assault, terroristic threats and related offenses.
His name was not released because he is a juvenile.
"Today's incident continues to expose the need for armed officers in all of our elementary and middle schools," Mayor Randy Brown said in a statement sent to the Burlington County Times.
Currently, the district has three special law enforcement officers, school officials said.
Brown said he has held meetings with school officials on funding officers since the 2012 Sandy Hook massacre.
"Those discussions fell on deaf ears until recently," he said.
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