A call that originated from Fulton High School claiming there was a gun on the middle school campus set off a weapons scare Friday, with law enforcement officers swarming the two campuses.
Fulton Public Schools officials said no one was hurt in the incident. Fulton police received a 911 call reporting a gun at Fulton Middle School on Friday and investigators traced that call to the high school after middle school officials locked down their campus, Superintendent Jacque Cowherd said in a news conference after the threat was cleared.
VIDEO: News conference with Superintendent Jacque Cowherd
Officers found the suspected caller at the high school after determining there was no danger at the middle school.
“It’s my understanding right now the caller is in custody,” Cowherd said at about 1:30 p.m. Friday. Cowherd said police questioned three students.
Fulton police said later in a news release that three students were taken into custody in connection with the threat.
Cowherd said extra police officers will be at the middle school and high school Friday night.
Despite rumors of a shooting, Cowherd said no police or school officials have said shots were fired or that any weapons were found.
Fulton police, Callaway County deputies and highway patrol troopers converged on the campus starting about 12:30 p.m. The district kept in touch with parents through text messages, including one saying all students and staff were safe.
An ABC 17 News reporter said parents were massed at the door to the middle school and police were talking to them. Another reporter saw law enforcement officers in cruisers blocking each door at the high school campus.
“I was with my brother when he started receiving text messages from my niece stating that she loved him and that she was scared, and she was hiding in the library…extremely scary,” Crystal Lesieur, a Fulton High School parent who was waiting at the door of the middle school, told ABC 17 News.
“My niece is a pretty tough kid and for her to start sending messages to mom and dad… I felt like it was something extremely serious…. and that’s why we came to the school immediately,” Lesieur said.
Another parent, Natalie Ferguson said her son called her from inside the building.
“You could hear it in his voice how nervous he was. ‘Mom, it’s happening, there’s an active shooter’,” Ferguson recalled. “I said ‘is it a drill?’, and he said no, so I said stay on the phone with me and I raced down here to come to the school to figure out what was going on and when I got here all side streets were covered with officers.”
The district sent an alert to parents saying the middle school was on “internal lockdown due to a threat” but that all students and staff were safe.
Cowherd said he thinks the middle school did a great job of keeping the students safe.
“Communication to parents is never quick enough,” superintendent Cowherd said. “I’m trying to be sincere about that because kids were in the building texting their parents and we can’t beat that.”
Ferguson agreed, saying that the police and district really acted as fast as they could, “In a time like that, they can’t immediately alert parents because they have to keep their selves and their kids safe, so I feel like the did according to protocol, in a day and age like this.”>
Calls to the Missouri State Highway Patrol and the Callaway County Sheriff’s Office were not immediately returned.
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