Police investigating reports of gunshots near Great Falls High School

Posted at 3:16 PM, Apr 10, 2018
and last updated 2018-04-10 17:16:17-04

Police are investigating reports that shots were fired near Great Falls High School on Tuesday afternoon.

The reports caused "shelter in place" procedures to be implemented at GFHS, Our Lady Of Lourdes school, and Longfellow Elementary School.

There are no reports that any of the as-yet unconfirmed gunshots happened in any of the schools, and there are no reports of any injuries.

The Great Falls Police Department posted the following message on Facebook at 2:58 p.m.

COMMUNITY ALERT! We are investigating reports of shots fired near Great Falls High School. GFHS, Our Lady of Lourdes, and Longfellow Elementary are in Shelter In Place and we will assist school staff as they release children soon. There are no reported injuries and nothing has occurred inside either of the schools. Please avoid the area and follow instructions from any law enforcement officer.

(UPDATE, 2:35 p.m.) Great Falls Public Schools posted the following message on Facebook at 2:27 p.m. "The GF Police Department has put GFHS and Longfellow into a shelter-in-place due to the reports of shots fired in the surrounding neighborhoods. There are no reports of any injuries. This is a precautionary measure only."

KRTV has learned that the military bomb squad is conducting training, and is not associated with the incident at GFHS.

There are no indications at this point that anyone – including students – has been injured.

A GFPD officer tells KRTV that they are responding to as-yet unconfirmed reports of three or four gunshots heard west of GFHS.

(1st Report, 2:23 p.m.) There is a large police presence at Great Falls High School. KRTV began receiving reports of the police activity just after 2 p.m. on Tuesday.

Several people have reported that the school has been placed in lock-down or "shelter in place" status, but we have not yet been able to confirm whether that is accurate. One witness says that the perimeter of the school is blocked by law enforcement officers.

We have also received a report that a military bomb squad is at or near the scene.

We have reporters heading to the school and will update you as we get details.

Here are the definitions of key safety terms used by the Great Falls Public School District:

  • Evacuation: Defined as an internal emergency that requires students and staff to leave the building for their safety.  Parents should follow emergency notifications.

  • Lockdown: Defined as an internal and/or immediate threat.  All staff and students are locked in rooms.  No one IN or OUT!

  • Shelter In Place: Defined as a safety precaution for an external threat that is not an immediate or internal threat.

  • Class Hold: Defined as a safety precaution implemented during an incident where students need to be kept in the classroom.  

  • Release with Care: Defined as a possible threat in the schools’ neighborhoods during arrival and release time. Release with care procedures.

    • To ensure safety, the building administrator may ask staff to escort students to/from buses or waiting cars.
    • Staff may also be asked to accompany students home.

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