Two Ruskin High School girls were only a couple blocks from their school when a group of boys held them up at gunpoint.
Seeing young people walking from place to place is a regular sight at the Ruskin Heights neighborhood.
"Predominantly most of them don't have cars, so their mode of transportation is by hoofing it," John Baccala with the Hickman Mills School District said.
For that reason, the school district's spokesman said it's not all that surprising the girls would be walking home after dark.
"It's second nature to a lot of the kids just to walk," he said.
The girls, both 15, had been working on a project with the robotics team and the team meetings go late, until 8 p.m., several nights a week.
"It's one of the funner programs that kids participate in," Baccala said.
They got to Ruskin Way and Bristol Terrace, only a couple of blocks away, when four older teen boys approached. One had a gun and demanded, "Give me everything you got." Another tried to dissuade his friends, saying, "Come on guys, this is stupid." The quartet took off with the girls' backpacks and headphones.
Police said they didn't get anything of great value, and may well have been doing it for the thrill as much as any financial reward.
"The only thing I would say to whoever did it is wonder if it was one of yours. How would you feel?" a neighbor who didn't want to give her name said.
Another said she's not surprised, that she doesn't feel safe.
"Things like this happen in neighborhoods throughout the metropolitan area, and there's really not a lot you can do about it other than make sure that you're vigilant in telling kids to watch out for their surroundings and to travel in groups and to just be careful in general," Baccala said.
He also said the girls were shaken up Thursday night, but appear to be bouncing back already.
Copyright 2013 KCTV (Meredith Corp.) All rights reserved.
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