More details released in Wednesday incident at high school
Published 10:07 am Thursday, March 16, 2023
APD not able to substantiate claim of possible firearm involved
The Austin Police Department has released further details in Wednesday’s security incident at Austin High School that resulted in a two-hour lockdown of the facility.
According to a statement Thursday morning by Austin Police Chief David McKichan, the original call came from within school and was not an off-site call, nor a swatting incident.
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The call also indicated that a firearm was involved, but that couldn’t be confirmed.
“Our agency has not been able to substantiate the original report that a firearm was present at the Austin High School yesterday,” McKichan said Thursday morning.
Law enforcement, including APD and Mower County Sheriff’s Office deputies responded to the call at around noon on Wednesday, beginning when the school’s resource officer requested additional help at the school due to a report of a firearm that had possibly been brandished at the school.
It was revealed Thursday that the report followed an altercation that had occurred in an AHS bathroom between two teens and McKichan said that APD was not aware of any injuries from that incident.
The school was eventually cleared at around 2 p.m., however, during the time of the lockdown, two juvenile males — 16 and 15-years-old — were detained and brought to the Law Enforcement Center and spoken to before being released.
“Again, I appreciated the patience of the students, staff, and public as we investigated this incident yesterday,” McKichan said.
Late Wednesday afternoon, Austin Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Joey Page issued a statement announcing that the school had returned to normal operations.
“Resources will be available to respond to students, staff, and parents/caregivers as needed,” Page said, adding that: “Here at Austin Public Schools, our priority is the safety and well-being of our students, their families, and our staff. Each of our schools has established a safety plan and lockdown procedures that contribute to maintaining a safe learning environment for our students. In the wake of this incident and as part of our practice, school personnel will review those plans and continue our ongoing relationship with law enforcement to ensure we do everything we can to maintain the safety and security of our schools.”