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“Students and Staff, please listen. We are in a lockout situation for an incident in our vicinity. I understand lunch is in 15 minutes, but no one can leave until we are cleared. Please remain on campus.” – Mr. Alan Thimmig, Liberty High School’s Principal
No one expected this announcement. Not here—not at Liberty. Sure, every high school has their usual drill, but this wasn’t the case on October 24th around 10:40 AM. What could it be? What had happened? Are we safe? Questions swirled around the room in Mr. Jones’ geometry math class, as we all attempted to go back to our work. The lockout didn’t last long, as it was suspended around 10:45 AM.
According to KOAA, “Colorado Springs Police responded to a disturbance at Memorial Hospital North Tuesday morning. Officers were first dispatched to the area around 10:30 a.m. on calls of a man threatening to kill people on the fourth floor of the hospital. Police quickly responded and detained the man.” They also report that both Penrose and Memorial hospitals were under lockdown. The suspect reportedly threatened a Penrose patient, and was then found at a Memorial Hospital. He was detained without harm to any persons. Around 10:55 AM, the hospital is running under normal operations.
However, there are conflicting reports regarding the validity of the threat. According to KRDO and the Gazette, Cary Vorgin (a hospital spokesperson) said “MHN is safe, and there was never an actual threat to the hospital.”
How can schools go under lockdown without the confirmation of a threat? With the safety of students and staff in mind, it makes perfect sense. Check back with us later for more information.
*** Update 5:34 P.M. ***
New information from KKTV 11 states that a patient had caused this scare. When police had gotten a call, they were informed of an active shooter. “Hospital security had already detained the suspect by the time officers got inside.”
Memorial North’s Associate Chief Nursing Officer Tamera Dunseth Rosenbaum told KKTV News “We had a confused patient on one of our medical units that was making some violent comments in a nurses’ station. IT causes some concern for patients and families overhearing these words, and so a couple of patients and families called 911.”
KKTV also reports Pine Creek and Liberty high schools, Timberview Middle School, and Prairie Hills, Chinook Trail, and Ranch Creek elementary schools in District 20 were on lockdown for less than 15 minutes due to the incident.