Lockdown status on Vandenberg Elementary lifted after reports of gun shots turn out to be a car backfiring

RAPID CITY, S.D. (KOTA TV) - The lockdown status put on Vandenberg Elementary was lifted after reported gunshots near the school turned out to be a car backfiring.

The Pennington County Sheriff's Office says just before 8 a.m. several Douglas School staff members reported they heard what sounded like gun shots fired near the elementary.

As a precaution, all Douglas Schools were placed on secure status.

After the Sheriff's Office and Box Elder police investigated and interviewed neighbors, they determined it was a car backfiring and not gun shots.

The secure status lasted about 30 minutes.

“We would rather be safe than sorry,” says Pennington County Sheriff’s Sergeant Chris Hislip. “In this new world of heightened sensitivity, we will always opt on the side of caution when it comes to the safety of school children.”