The Woodward News

Local News

April 1, 2013

Local school locked down briefly

Woodward, Okla. — A 15-year-old boy was arrested Monday after he was seen walking around a local elementary school carrying airsoft pellet guns.

Highland Park Elementary school was placed under an approximately 45-minute lockdown around noon Monday while police took the juvenile into custody and investigated the incident.

Woodward School Resource Officer Jack Brown said that school Principal Angela Rhoades contacted him after she had received reports from some of the residents living around the school about "a kid in full camo carrying guns."

Brown said Rhoades then told him that she had placed the school in lockdown after she looked out and saw the individual in the parking lot.

"I told her to keep the school in lockdown as I contacted the rest of the police department.  And I had the fire department and EMS also respond 2 blocks away just in case," Brown said.

He said that fortunately "we had no reports of any shots fired or any injuries."

Brown said fellow School Resource Officer Chris Woods arrived on scene first and held the juvenile at gunpoint while other officers responded.

The juvenile was then immediately placed in investigatory detention.

But after officers discovered that he indeed had an airsoft handgun and 2 airsoft rifles in his possession, the boy was placed under arrest for carrying a weapon on school property. He was later taken to the Community Intervention Center, which is where juvenile offenders are taken while awaiting release to their parents or another agency.

"Anything that can fire a projectile is considered a weapon," Brown said.

After detaining the juvenile, officers conducted a walk-around and walk-through of the school to ensure there were no additional potential threats.

The police have not released the juvenile's name, but have said the boy is not a student of the Woodward Public School District.

When he spoke with The News at the scene, Brown said he hadn't yet conducted a full interview with the teen.

However, he said the boy had told officers that he was in the area around the school because he had planned to meet a friend at a home near 28th St. and Cheyenne Ave.

Woodward Superintendent Tim Merchant said that "as far as we know he was going to a nearby field to meet up with friends to play airsoft war games."

"At no time in this situation was there a direct threat to the students," Merchant said.

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