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.