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Chief: No gun found at Eastern York HS

Liz Evans Scolforo
505-5429/@LizScolforoYD
  • Eastern York High School was placed on lockdown for less than an hour Wednesday morning.
  • A teen reported that a fellow student had threatened to bring a gun to school that day, police said.
  • No gun was found, Lower Windsor Twp. Police Chief Tim Caldwell said.

Concerns about a possible gun in Eastern York High School on Wednesday proved unfounded, although Lower Windsor Township police continue to investigate, the chief said.

"Everyone is safe. ... Everything is OK," Chief Tim Caldwell said.

He said his officers were called to the 720 Cool Creek Road school at about 7:30 a.m. after a teen advised a teacher that a fellow student told her Tuesday that he intended to bring a gun to the school Wednesday, according to the chief.

"They immediately went into their safety procedure ... until we could determine where this young man was at," he said.

Logo police

School officials informed police they had put the school in lockdown, and officers responded there quickly, Caldwell said. The student who allegedly made the threat was found in his classroom, he said.

"We were able to within minutes take him from the classroom and bring him up to the administrative offices," the chief said.

School searched: They spoke with the 16-year-old student, searched his locker and book bag, reviewed security video of every place he'd been in the school Wednesday morning, then checked all those places, according to Caldwell.

"No gun was found," the chief said.

In an open letter to parents that was posted on Facebook, high school principal Timothy Mitzel wrote that the student had threatened to harm a teacher. The student had not threatened to harm any students, according to Mitzel.

The investigation is ongoing, the chief said.

"We don't want to arrest somebody because he inconvenienced (the school)," Caldwell said. "But if we can determine there was a viable threat made that had some validity to it, we'll file a charge."

The power of words: The chief said there's a bigger issue as well:

"Words mean things," he said. "I had a conversation with this young man about that."

Caldwell said he thinks the student understood his point.

The high school was placed on a restricted-movement lockdown, which requires students to stay in their classrooms, at 7:35 a.m. The lockdown was lifted at 8:20 a.m., according to Mitzel's letter.

He urged parents to discuss the incident with their kids and to impress upon them the importance of reporting such threats.

— Reach Liz Evans Scolforo at levans@yorkdispatch.com or on Twitter at @LizScolforoYD.