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Parent asks for more transparency after law enforcement sent to Rock Bridge High School for possibly armed student


Several law-enforcement agencies were sent to a Columbia high school Tuesday after a report that a student was possibly armed.

Claret Lopez, a Rock Bridge High School parent said arrived at the school at around 12:45 p.m. as four law enforcement agencies went to the school, responding with weapons drawn.

"A lot of them were pulling into the main entrance, armed," Lopez said.

Lopez said her heart sank and she immediately went to find answers.

"I asked him (a police officer) if it was safe to take my kid home and he said, 'If I were you, I would take my kid home,'" Lopez said.

Lopez said security and students she encountered had no idea what was going on, but people were in a panic.

The district sent out an email to parents at 1:46 p.m. alerting them the school was not on a lockdown, over an hour after police arrived on scene.

"Walking to the scene seeing cops inside of the school seeing cops with guns in their hands and seeing kids crying and shaking, that's scary," Lopez said. "As a parent, I would like the school to be more transparent with parents and students and let them know what is going on."

The Columbia Police Department, Boone County Sheriff's Office, Missouri State Highway Patrol and Park Rangers showed up to investigate.

School officials said they are thankful for law enforcements quick response.

The Columbia Police Department said Tuesday that officers were sent to the school at about 12:15 p.m.

School security couldn't find the student, so several officers were sent to the school "out of an abundance of caution," according to a CPD Facebook post.

Columbia Public Schools officials were tight-lipped about the cause of the call earlier Tuesday afternoon, saying only that police were called to help investigate a "specific reported incident."

"The incident has been resolved," spokeswoman Michelle Baumstark wrote in an email. "Students are safe and school continued as normal."

Baumstark did not explain what the incident entailed but said there was a "large police response" to the district's request to help.

This all comes following a school shooting at a St. Louis high school Monday morning. Two people were killed at Central Visual and Performing Arts High School, seven were injured. A vigil was held Monday night for the victims.

Article Topic Follows: Columbia Public Schools

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Matthew Sanders

Matthew Sanders is the digital content director at ABC 17 News.


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