CRETE, Ill. (WLS) -- A south suburban high school went on lockdown after a student apparently joked about having a gun on campus on Wednesday afternoon, officials said.
Administrators at Crete-Monee High School, located at 1515 West Exchange Street, were notified that a student may have a weapon on campus at about 12:38 p.m., Crete-Monee School District 201-U said in a statement.
"I don't know that it was a gunshot sound, but we could hear something loud," one student told ABC7.
The district said the rumor was unfounded, and the building went into a "red lockdown" out of an abundance of caution.
School administration said they immediately contacted Crete police, who later said they had received a call about a student with a gun. Police said they responded to the school, where a student "admitted to joking about having a gun."
Students and staff were forced to shelter in place as the investigation continued.
That lockdown was lifted at about 1:30 p.m., and and students were released from the building to parents, who were anxiously awaiting word of their safety and some critical about how the incident was handled. One parent told ABC7 she didn't receive an alert about what had happened until about an hour after the incident started.
Chopper 7 was over the scene, where a large group was gathered outside. Police officers were seen talking to the crowd.
"All students are safe, and we are initiating students coming back in building," police said in a statement.
The school district said it does not believe that students or staff were in danger at any time.
"We take situations like these very seriously. Anyone found to have made a threat will face disciplinary action, per school district policy. We also encourage everyone in our school community to speak up if they see or hear anything that could represent a potential threat to school safety," the district said, in part.
Officials did not immediately provide further information.