Unfounded Threat Forces Norrdgewock Elementary School In To Lockdown
Parents and police got quite a scare in Norridgewock this morning. This was not your typical Monday morning at the Mill Stream Elementary School in Norridgewock. According to police, at around 8:30 two first graders told school officials they saw a strange man near the tree line of the school carrying a rifle. School officials immediately called state police, who arrived within minutes. “Troopers, deputies, and wardens all responded immediately to the scene,” said Major Gary Wright of the Maine State Police. “The school went in to lock down, as they were trained to do. The officers established perimeter and started ensuring the safety of all the kids in the school.”As police scoured the area, their heavy presence in the small town did not go unnoticed by parents, who quickly realized something wasn’t right. “Actually, we passed the troopers. We were on our way to Skowhegan and we saw like 7 or 8 of them headed this way. We knew something was going on,” said Edward Timler, whose son is a student at the school.Most parents were notified by an automated phone call that the school had gone into lockdown. Many of them say they couldn’t help but fear the worst, with thoughts of the tragedy in Newtown, Connecticut running through their minds. “The first thing that went through our mind is what happened just a few months ago. and we started panicking right off the bat,” said Robert Robinson, with his arm around his son, a student at the elementary school.Parents were not the only ones fearing the worst. Law enforcement are also keenly aware of the tragedies that have unfolded around the country. “Everybody, not just law enforcement, but every parent that has a student in schools, every law enforcement officer, everybody in the community is on a heightened sense of alert after Newtown and some of the other school tragedies,” Wright said.Parents were soon notified that there was no threat. Police say the students who made the initial report were interviewed by police and it was determined no gun had been seen. “We’ve reviewed the video cameras from the school. We weren’t able to discern anyone that was on the grounds with a firearm,” Wright said.A trooper remained at the school for the rest of the day and troopers still canvassed the area just to be safe. On this day, the school safety protocols seemed to work perfectly.Parents were given the choice of taking their kids home for the day. Many of them did just that. “After the tragedy that happened in the past you know we just wanted to come get him. As long as we got him we know he’s safe,” Timler said.