Red Wing schools on lockdown for a day

  • Article by: HERÓN MÁRQUEZ ESTRADA , Star Tribune
  • Updated: December 20, 2012 - 12:22 AM

Threat made to school; bullets found on a bus.

The entire Red Wing school district was on lockdown all day Wednesday after a threat was made to a school and bullets were found on a school bus in the morning, authorities said.

Red Wing police said the two incidents do not appear to be related, but given that they happened so close together the decision was made to lock down the high school, the alternative school, the middle school, two elementary schools and an early childhood center for the day.

"Everyone is much more aware because of what happened in Connecticut," Superintendent Karsten Anderson said. "Our kids are safe here."

Police Chief Roger Pohlman said the threat came Tuesday when a student at the district's alternative school was called at home by an unidentified caller and told that "your school is next."

The chief said police verified that the call took place, but after investigating, concluded that it probably was not a serious threat.

"I don't think they intended any harm," the chief said. "They might have said it to her to get a reaction."

But concerns were heightened -- at least temporarily -- when the bullets were found on a school bus floor about 8:30 a.m.

Later in the morning, a student came forward to say they were his bullets and had fallen out of his jacket while he was on the bus.

Pohlman said the student told police that the .22-caliber bullets were left over from coyote hunting the teenager had done over the weekend, which the chief said is a normal activity for high schoolers in town.

"It was a completely honest mistake," the chief said, commending the student for coming forward to accept responsibility. Pohlman said no further action is planned against him.

In Hibbing Wednesday, a 15-year-old boy carrying a small folding knife and an aluminum pipe was arrested near the high school entrance. He was taken to the Arrowhead Juvenile Center in Duluth and could face felony charges of attempted second-degree assault and possession of dangerous weapons on school property, as well as trespassing, which is a misdemeanor.

Staff writer Nicole Norfleet contributed to this report. Heron Marquez Estrada 952-746-3281

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