RAPID CITY, S.D. (KOTA TV) - What originally seemed to be one incident involving two Rapid City schools Thursday turned out to be two entirely unrelated issues taking place at the same time, according to police.
About 9:35 a.m., there was a report that a child carrying a gun was in the 800 block of Mallow Street heading toward Horace Mann Elementary School. The school was quickly placed in secure status and police put a perimeter around the school while they looked for the child. The child was not found.
At the same time, police had started investigating a report of a juvenile male who sent threatening messages to two other Central High School students; mentioning a gun. Central was also placed in secure status but unlike the first report, this juvenile was found at his home and taken into custody on existing warrants.
Complicating matters further, just after the secure status was lifted on the schools, police received a report of a gunshot near Horace Mann. This prompted a second secure status at the school while police investigated. With no other reports and no indication that a gun was even fired, the secure status was lifted.
“Parents should know that the Rapid City Police Department takes all threats to student safety seriously,” says Lt. Eli Diaz of the RCPD’s Patrol Division. “In both of these incidents, going into secure status was the right call. After further follow-up in both these cases, it is not believed there exists any lingering threat to the safety of the public.”
Around 9:35 Thursday morning Rapid City Police and the Pennington County Sheriff's Office responded to a weapons call near Horace Mann Elementary School.
Resource officers reacted within seconds of the call to put the school on secure status while police and sheriff's deputies searched the area for a suspect with a gun.
Within 30 minutes a person was identified, detained and the secure status lifted.
Officers won't confirm if the suspect was a student, the age, or the specific type of weapon, however, they said they take all calls seriously.
"Reports were that it was a weapon and so we are going to treat those very seriously, especially in today's day in age," said Sergeant Chris Hislip of the Pennington County Sheriff's Office. "We want to keep our kids safe even if it was a replica or a toy gun or something like that we are going to treat it as if it's a threat to our kids and we're going to take those steps necessary to keep our students safe."
Central High School was also placed on secure status for a time.
During secure status the doors of the school are locked and no one is allowed in or out of the building.
This is a developing story. Check back later for more details.