In his haste to make a run for it, the man dropped his plastic gun.
The area is known for its ongoing gang violence, and the public are increasingly carrying toy guns as a deterrent to ward off gangsters.
Others have carried the toys for intimidation while committing crimes.
However, the intentions of the man crossing the school grounds was not clear.
Police spokesperson Captain Johan Rheeder said Paterson High School had notified police when the “gun” was found.
“The school has battled to maintain the perimeter fencing as members of the public often break through… to take a shortcut across the school’s grounds,” he said.
Rheeder said police had been dispatched and determined the firearm recovered was, in fact, a plastic gun.
He said to his knowledge the incident happened away from the school buildings and the children had no knowledge of the incident, with classes continuing as usual.
The police confiscated the gun, but no case has been opened.
Derrick Spies, News24
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