COTTAGE GROVE, Ore. -- Lincoln Middle School cleared Friday morning’s lockdown, returning students to class and accounting for every student. The campus remains safe.
The lockdown was put in place after Cottage Grove Police Captain Conrad Gagner said a bus driver and a student saw a 16-year-old with a holstered BB gun style handgun walking his younger sister to school near the area of Grant Avenue and South 4th Street.
He said school leaders activated a silent alarm at 7:45 and went into lockdown, and they responded to clear the school of any possible threats.
Gagner said they talked to the youth and his mother and said criminal charges have not been filed.
"It seems that his actions were innocent enough," Gagner said. "Apparently, he had a new holster and wanted to walk around with the pellet gun in it."
South Lane School District Interim Assistant Superintendent Brian McCaslin said even though the teenager wasn't on school property and the weapon turned out to be a BB gun, he belives they made the right call on locking down the school.
"We will always respond with an abundance of caution," McCaslin said. "Student safety is our number one priority, and if we feel there's a possibility of a threat in the neighborhood, then we're going to do what we need to do make sure to ensure that our children are safe."
The school was deemed safe by police at about 8:40 a.m., and the lockdown ended.
Gagner said they will be meeting with the school district soon for a debrief on how they all handled the lockdown so they're prepared if something like this happens again.