Indiana high school placed on lockdown after student thought he heard someone loading a gun

Officers responded about 10 a.m. to the school at 11033 W. 93rd Ave. in St. John.

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Lake Central High School

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Lake Central High School in northwest Indiana was put on lockdown Wednesday morning after a student thought he heard someone loading a gun in a bathroom, police said.

The lockdown, which drew dozens of officers and a SWAT response, was lifted hours later after a search of the campus at 11033 W. 93rd Ave. in St. John turned up nothing.

“Once the school was safe, obviously we still wanted to double check it to make sure we didn’t miss anything, that nothing was found or they ditched a gun somewhere,” St. John Police Chief Steve Flores said at a news conference Wednesday afternoon. “So obviously we had to go room by room just to make sure.”

Police were dispatched to the school around 9:30 a.m. after a student thought he heard a noise like “what he explained as a gun being racked, like somebody was chambering a bullet into a gun” in the bathroom, Flores said.

The student was in the bathroom with two other students, Flores said. They were each sitting in different stalls and talking to each other when the student heard the noise. He called 911, and the dispatcher gave the call out to officers as an active shooting situation.

When officers are dispatched for an active shooter, “we’re thinking on the way there’s shots being fired and people are getting shot.”

After speaking with the student who made the report, and the two other students who had been in the bathroom, investigators determined there wasn’t a gun “and there was nothing to indicate otherwise.”

“End of the day it turned out fine, everybody was safe, we got everybody out,” the chief said.

Flores said the student who made the report did the right thing by calling 911.

“If they believe that there’s some kind of suspicious incident like that and they hear something, I’d rather be safe than sorry,” he said. “I wish it would have been dispatched a little bit different because, again, we were all going there thinking people were getting shot and that wasn’t the case.

“But absolutely, if kids see something wrong they need to report it,” he added, “whether it’s to us or the school administration immediately.”

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