Shepard High School lockdown prompted by BB gun, officials say

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A lockdown has been lifted at Shepard High School in south suburban Palos Heights after a report of a possible weapon on campus. (WLS)

Officials at Shepard High School in Palos Heights said police have found a BB gun that was carried on a school bus by a student, prompting a three-hour lockdown at the school Monday afternoon.

According to a statement on the Shepard High School Facebook page, the BB gun was given to another student who took the gun home earlier Monday morning. School officials said they cannot confirm if the BB gun was taken into the building.

Cook County Sheriff's deputies said they are questioning a male student in connection with the incident.

Parents were notified of the lockdown by a phone alert that went out around 12:30 p.m. No visitors, including parents and guardians, were allowed on campus or in the building during the lockdown. Many gathered in the parking lot waiting for word on their kids.

"They couldn't be out of the classroom, so they had to stay put," said Gloria Sanchez, a parent. "It's scary. You know, you trust God that nothing's going to happen, that everybody will be OK."

School officials lifted the lockdown around 3:30 p.m. after an investigation by the Cook County Sheriff's Dept. found no weapon on the campus.

The school said it was releasing students room by room to the gymnasium, where they will then be released to go home. Normal bus routes will also run, however, students' departures may be delayed.

All after school events - including practices, activities, and athletic contests - were also canceled Monday afternoon out of an abundance of caution.

"Cook County police will conduct a thorough search of the building with the help of the Cook County Canine Unit to ensure the building is safe for school on Tuesday," the school said in the statement.
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