Tacoma police are investigating a report of a middle school student seen with a gun on the way to school this morning.
The investigation has prompted a modified lockdown at several Tacoma schools, police spokesman Mark Fulghum said.
No injuries have been reported, and the student seen with the weapon has been detained.
The activity began this morning when a Stewart Middle School student was seen with a gun in a backpack, Fulghum said. Officers responded to the school, located the student and interviewed him.
The officers found no gun on the student. The student told officers he had a gun but dumped it on the way to school. He also said he had the weapon because of a possible gang-related issue, Fulghum said.
“We don’t know how credible (that information) is,” he said.
UPDATE: All Tacoma schools – elementary up to high schools – are in the modified lockdown, according to schools spokesman Dan Voelpel. The move is a precautionary measure.
During a modified lockdown, students are allowed go about their normal activities. The front doors are locked.
Voelpel reports this is the first time the district has done a district-wide lockdown.
UPDATE No. 2: Here’s the e-mail sent out to parents of Tacoma schools students:
Good afternoon,This is the Tacoma Public Schools calling with an important message. All Tacoma schools have gone into a modified lockdown as a safety precaution at the recommendation of the Tacoma Police Department because of a possible threat of violence. A modified lockdown is where all entrances are locked and student activity inside the school can proceed as normal. A student from Stewart Middle School informed staff members that a possible threat of violence could occur sometime today. The Tacoma Police Department was immediately notified and is questioning a person of interest at this time.The safety and security of our students, staff and community members is always our primary concern. Please be assured that we will continue to do everything possible to maintain a safe and orderly school environment. If you have any questions or concerns, please call the Public Information Office at 253.571.1015. Thank you.
To listen to the above message, you will need audio software and speakers on your computer.
UPDATE No. 3: Police lifted a modified lockdown at all but one Tacoma School District campus at about 12:45 p.m, today after they determined the incident that prompted the action was an “isolated threat,” the school district reported.
The modified lockdown, however, remained in effect at Stewart Middle School, 5010 Pacific Ave., and all after-school activities there are canceled.
The news was given to Tacoma School District parents and community members over the system’s automated calling system.