(WORTHINGTON) - White River Valley Worthington Elementary School was placed on lockdown for less than 30 minutes at the end of the school day Wednesday as a safety precaution when a man with a gun was reported near the school.
Superintendent Layton Wall says he was notified by school officials at the elementary school at 2:57 p.m. that police were looking for a man who was reportedly waving a shotgun and chasing a girl near the corner of main and Lessie streets, about two blocks from the school.
Fortunately, the situation turned out to be just a misunderstanding by a concerned citizen who thought they saw the man holding what turned out to be a BB gun, according to Interim Worthington Town Marshal Dan Richardson.
The man was not chasing anyone, but standing on his porch with the gun in his hands. The BB gun looked exactly like a shotgun.
The man whose name is not being released by police, will not be charged. Richardson says he was glad the citizen called in the complaint - it was the right thing to do.
Richardson says they lockdown the school until police could figure out exactly what they were dealing with.
School officials were thankful the situation didn't turn out to be dangerous and used the event to assess the effectiveness of its emergency response plan.
When the school heard about the man with a gun relatively close to the school, Wall immediately ordered the school placed on lockdown and contacted Jim Fuller, the school's Safe School Director to assist at the scene.
Wall then sent a message on the School Reach telephone notification system telling parents of the situation and that children would be held at the school until law enforcement reported the situation safe.
Wall says the school did an excellent job at securing the students and the facility. The lockdown was lifted at 3:15 p.m.
The superintendent then issued another message over the School Reach notification system and informed parents that everything was fine and the buses were going to be moved toward Worthington for after school pickups from holding sites at WRV Lyons
Elementary School and White River Valley Junior-Senior High School in Switz City.
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