By Dorothy Tucker

CHICAGO (CBS) — They saw the deadly shooting in Florida and students in south suburban Dixmoor didn’t want it to happen at their school.

So when they found a loaded gun outside the building, CBS 2’s Dorothy Tucker reports, they did the right thing.

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They were treated like rock stars.

Honored for being heroes.

“Because of these outstanding young people, that gun will never harm a soul,” says Harvey Police Chief Gregory Thomas.

Six students at Rosa Parks Middle School in Dixmoor found nine millimeter loaded gun outside the school Tuesday morning.

The tragedy at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Florida is exactly what students say they thought of when they saw the gun lying on the school’s front lawn.

“I said ya’ll see what happened in Florida. It could happen to us,” says student Keymarrion Ross “We have to get an adult. I don’t want that to happen.”

So three of the students ran inside.

Three others stayed outside to guard the gun.

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“I was thinking that if one of them touched it anything could happen,” says Ross. “They could hurt themselves with it.”

IT coordinator Paul Sanchez was the first adult the students saw.

“I’m so proud of these kids that they did what they did,” says Sanchez. “When I picked it up it was really heavy. So that gave me an indication it was not a toy gun.”

Police found 10 live rounds in the gun.

They’re now trying to figure out who owns it and how did it get there.

But everyone’s happy students heeded their parents’ lessons and did the right thing.

“They told me if you ever find something bad or something can harm you, tell an adult,” says student Malik Holton.

Next week the district is holding a active shooter strategy meeting.

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It was already planned but school administrators say today’s event underscores how important the meeting is.

Dorothy Tucker