Concerned parents blockaded a Texas high school Tuesday after reports of a classroom shooting that were ultimately proven false.
The lockdown at Thomas Jefferson High School in San Antonio began around 1 a.m. Tuesday after police received a call about a possible shooting at the school, according to a police statement. The school was placed on lockdown as officers entered and began clearing the campus but found no evidence of an active threat or shooting.
San Antonio Independent School District Police Chief Johnny Reyes said, “Our department and the San Antonio Police Department established there were no shots fired, but then we had to conduct a systematic search of the room with the strike team.” “We went to the location where they said the shooting took place and we were able to quickly prove that no shooting took place.”
Instead, some students were found fighting, but they denied having or displaying weapons at any time, Reiss said.
But panicked students had already made anxious telephone calls to their parents, who descended en masse on the school where 29 school district officers and 58 city police officers were on hand.
A man smashed his fist through a window in an attempt to enter the school, injuring his arm. The police applied a tourniquet to that arm. Others were handcuffed and detained after physically struggling with officers, but there were no immediate reports of arrests.
Video obtained by CBS San Antonio affiliate KENS-TVFrom inside the school, officers sweep classrooms to ensure students and staff are safe.
Nehemiah Fernandez, a 14-year-old freshman from Jefferson, was in one of the classes.
“From somewhere we can just hear the lockdown,” he told KENS. Locked.”
Fernandez said when the school was on lockdown, her classroom door was locked and the lights were off.
“We just went to the side of the classroom next to the wall,” he said. “We all sat down. I’d say 30 minutes to go, we see two cops come in the door with big heavy guns. It’s crazy.”
He texted his mother, Amanda Lara, to make sure he was safe.
“I understand parents are scared, scared and nervous especially after the Uvalde shooting,” the mother said.
But he didn’t go to school.
The panic was the latest in a wave of such incidents since thenThat killed 19 children and two teachers. A similar panic erupted at Heights High School in Houston on Sept. 13 after a school threat. The threat last week led to school closures in districts near Austin and Houston, and in California, Massachusetts, Florida, Arkansas, Oregon, Illinois, Kansas and Oklahoma.
San Antonio District Superintendent Jaime Aquino said the district needs to find better ways to communicate with parents in real time. “I’m guessing that if we weren’t at Uvalde, we probably wouldn’t get the response from the parents. So we just have to figure it out,” he said.