Shooting Threat Handled by Police & School Administrators - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Shooting Threat Handled by Police & School Administrators

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RICHLAND, WA. - Monday got off to a disturbing start at a Richland school. Students at Hanford High went into lockdown as police searched the campus for a possible gunman.

School administrators and local police worked together this morning. They followed protocol and although the situation could have possibly been dangerous, everything went according to plan.

"A person had been talking in a social chat room about bringing a firearm to Hanford High School and causing death or injury," explained Captain Mike Cobb of the Richland Police Department.

While police refused to release too many details about what exactly was said in the threat as part of their ongoing investigation, they assured us the words used were reason enough to react and put the plans in motion to lockdown the school. Words like "watch the news…people will be killed," were in the post. The lockdown started around 9:45 am and lasted for about 45 minutes.

"Typically what happens is any blinds or curtain are drawn shut and then the classroom doors are locked so there are no students walking the hallways during this time," said Steve Aagaard the director of communications at the Richland School District.

After police searched through the building, they did not find anything suspicious or dangerous to the students. The lockdown was lifted and school resumed normal operations. Everyone went on with their day, but police tell us one thing that can be taken from Monday's happenings is that they are prepared..

"The system worked as it was designed," said Cobb. "The system worked as it was drilled and the next time we have a threat, and there will be a next time, it's going to work then too."

Police tell us the threat was aimed at a Hanford High, but it did not specify which one. The school district contacted another Hanford High in California to warn them that they could be the target. Police will continue an investigation into the source of the threat.