Police officers from the Wheeling Police Department responded at 11:52 a.m. Tuesday, October 4, 2022 to a report that a student possibly had a handgun in school at Holmes Middle School. The school was placed on lockdown to ensure the safety of students and faculty. According to the Wheeling Police Department, the students involved in the incident were identified and interviews of the students began with school administrators and the Juvenile Officers of the Wheeling Police Department.
Initially, no injuries to students or staff were reported. The school was secured and the investigation of a “gun” at the school initially indicated that an airsoft (BB) style gun was on campus. School was dismissed early as a result of the lockdown incident and the investigation of a possible gun on campus.
Wheeling Police Department declared that there was no active threat at the school, and students were released from school by a “controlled dismissal.” Students were not allowed to pick up possessions at their lockers unless there was an absolute necessity to retrieve an item from their locker.
Following is a statement from the Superintendent of District 21 regarding the investigation of a report of a gun on campus …
“At approximately 12:00 PM today, Tuesday October 4, Holmes Middle School was placed into lockdown after a report was made of a possible gun in the school. The Wheeling Police Department immediately responded and with the Holmes Middle School staff began an investigation.
“District protocols were followed and students and staff were safe as the investigation continued.
“In cooperation with the Wheeling Police Department, at approximately 2:00 PM, it was determined that it was safe to begin a controlled dismissal for students. Students were dismissed classroom by classroom and were not allowed to return to the lockers unless absolutely necessary and under escort by a staff member. All students were safely dismissed by approximately 3:30 PM.
“As the investigation progressed it is believed to have been an airsoft (BB) style gun. Wheeling Police Department continues their investigation. There is no active threat and Holmes Middle School will resume classes as planned on Thursday, October 6.
“We know that this event may have been traumatic to students, families, faculty, and staff. Counseling staff will be on site at Holmes Middle School on Thursday to support any student who may need it. There will also be a heightened police presence on campus Thursday morning as students return to school.
“As students were not allowed to return to their lockers as they were dismissed, we know that there may be possessions that need to be collected. Families are invited to return to Holmes Middle School this evening until 7:00 PM so that students may visit their lockers and pick up anything they may need on Wednesday while school is closed. Please enter the school through Door 1A. You will be asked to sign in prior to going to the locker. Students will be able to access their lockers as normal on Thursday morning.
“Please take time this evening and over the coming days to talk with your child and help to process the day’s events. If at any time you believe your child may need additional support, please do not hesitate to contact Mrs. Richards, Mrs. Krueger, or Mrs. Wolff. Also please reinforce with your child the importance of reporting anything that may be a threat to the safety of Holmes Middle School. As has often been said: “see something, say something.”
We know this has been a stressful and frightening day for the entire Holmes family and in the coming days we will come together as a community to support our students, staff, and families through it. The safety and security of all our students, staff, and families are the top priority for District 21. We will provide additional communication in the coming days as the situation warrants.
^^ MOBILE? USE VOICE MIC ^^
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Earlier Notifications by Wheeling Police Department (on Facebook) …
2:33 PM TUE OCT 04 2022 — “The Wheeling Police Department is conducting an investigation at Holmes Middle school. The children are safe and the lockdown is being lifted. The students will be sent home shortly under a controlled release. We will provide additional updates soon.”
12:48 PM TUE OCT 04 2022 — “There is currently an active lockdown at Holmes Middle School while we investigate the report that was made. The Wheeling Police Department is there investigating the situation. We will send more information once we have it. The children are safe while we investigate.”