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Guns found near elementary school

Lake Oswego authorities are investigating who owns three unloaded guns that were found in the woods behind Hallinan Elementary School, not far from the school playground.

Three Hallinan students were playing in the center of a heavily wooded area on Monday, approximately 75 yards from the school, when they discovered a pellet gun, a .22 caliber rifle and a 12-gauge shotgun, all placed in gun cases and wrapped in plastic. Three clips of ammunition were also in the case.

The students immediately notified their babysitter, whose mother then contacted the Lake Oswego Police Department. Responding LOPD officers removed the weapons and determined that they were unloaded.

School officials, including Hallinan Principal Steve Mauritz, notified staff and parents of the incident throughout the day on Monday.

"The logical speculation is that those guns were probably stolen or stashed to be sold," Mauritz said.

Mauritz was away from the school when the guns were found. It's the first time he can recall a "weapons-related" incident in the 20 years he's been with the district.

"I was delighted that the students followed the safety protocol," he said. "My biggest concern is that you always assume you're safe and secure, but anytime anything like this happens, it raises the importance of being alert ... We'll look for an opportunity to make this a teaching experience."

Teachers returned to Hallinan on Tuesday for meetings, while students return September 5.

"It's not the sort of thing you want to start school with," Mauritz said.

Check the Aug. 31 edition of the Lake Oswego Review for more information.