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Students safely released after lockdown

School locked down after student allegedly seen with gun

Lena Bowe, Opinions Editor
Originally published November 5, 2015

Chelsea Leingang

Chelsea Leingang

Students left school safely today after a three hour lockdown caused by a student who was allegedly spotted with a gun on campus.

Seattle Police Department officers and a SWAT team responded to a call about a male student with a gun at around 11 a.m. The student was taken into custody, and the reported gun was not found on him.

Around 11:30 a.m. teachers received an email instructing them to go into a shelter in place, which is the protocol for a threat located in the neighborhood off campus. The school went into lockdown shortly after. Students and teachers were instructed to move to the corner of the classroom farthest from the door, lock the doors and turn all lights off.

Students remained in lockdown mode within their classrooms for an about an hour. While in lockdown mode, students were not allowed access to their lockers or bathrooms, and many were unable to eat their lunch.

After the suspect was arrested, students were escorted to the gym by SWAT officers as police set up a secure perimeter at the school. Once the students were secured, police began to search the school for the reported gun.

“When you have a situation where there’s a weapon that’s out in the community, you secure the community,” Assistant Principal Dr. Barbara Casey said. “And you secure the school. This school is part of the community. [We] are in [the gym] because SPD has its protocols in making sure that this campus is safe. We would have it no other way.”

Officers conducted a floor-by-floor search of the building using Seattle Police and King County K-9 units. The search lasted approximately two hours, during which students remained in the gym.

“Out of an abundance of caution we are going through these protocols in a very specific way so we can be as certain as we can be that we locate any weapons that are there,” Precinct Captain Sean O’Donnell said.

SPD Chief Kathleen O’Toole and Principal Keven Wynkoop also addressed students in the gym to reassure their safety and control their behavior.

Students were slowly released from the school as the officers finished their search at around 2:30 p.m. While students with fourth period on the second floor were released first, many had to wait for the first floor to be cleared in order to go to their lockers or to after-school activities, which took place as scheduled. 

School will resume tomorrow as normal. The missing firearm has not been located.

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Students safely released after lockdown