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    Teen identifies himself as owner of Airsoft pellet gun found near Somerville school

    An Airsoft pellet pistol, a broken Airsoft rifle, soft pellet magazines, and a ski mask were found in this backpack inside a trash can near Capuano Early Childhood Center, police said.
    Somerville Police Department
    An Airsoft pellet pistol, a broken Airsoft rifle, soft pellet magazines, and a ski mask were found in this backpack inside a trash can near Capuano Early Childhood Center, police said.

    An Airsoft pellet pistol found Wednesday near a Somerville elementary school prompted police to search the city’s public schools and increase patrols, though the teen owner of the replica weapon later identified himself, police said.

    A public works employee found the pellet gun in a backpack, which was inside a trash can at the soccer field next to the Capuano Early Childhood Center, police said in a statement Wednesday afternoon.

    The backpack also contained a broken airsoft rifle — a replica of an AK-47 — as well as soft pellet magazines and a ski mask, police said. Airsoft guns resemble real firearms and are used for recreation, police said.

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    Police said in a statement later Wednesday night that a 17-year-old Somerville resident contacted police and identified himself as the owner of the equipment. The teen received it from a friend who was moving overseas and intended to use the equipment, including the mask, for Airsoft sports “once he turned 18.”

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    The teen’s aunt and uncle ordered that the teen break the pellet guns, take them out of their home, and throw them away, police said.

    The teen “apologized for causing any alarm,” police said.

    In the earlier statement, police said they were investigating the incident, but stressed that there was “no perceived imminent threat.”

    School premises, surrounding areas, and trash cans in and around all of the city’s public schools were searched, police said. Parents and guardians at all Somerville public schools were being notified, along with other law enforcement agencies.

    Jacob Carozza can be reached at jacob.carozza@globe.com.