Lockdown lifted at 5 Oahu schools following threat

Lockdown lifted at 5 Oahu schools following threat
(Image: Hawaii News Now)
(Image: Hawaii News Now)
(Image: Hawaii News Now)
(Image: Hawaii News Now)

EWA BEACH, OAHU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Public school officials put Campbell High School in Ewa on lockdown for a little more than an hour Friday after a note was found in a campus restroom threatening gun violence. The threat also prompted four other nearby schools to be placed on lockdown.

Meanwhile, security was heightened with extra police at Castle High School in Kaneohe on Friday after a written threat of gun violence was also discovered in a restroom the day before. But classes went on as normal at Castle and no lockdowns were ordered Friday.

Students at Campbell High School were in the middle of classes about 10:15 a.m. Friday when the lockdown announcement came over the public address system.

"All of us thought it was fake -- a test. Like we have test lockdowns, but then it continued longer than usual," said Christian Reynolds, a sophomore who heard the announcement while in his biology class. "They had us close the windows, lock the doors, turn off the lights and we had to be quiet"

Campbell officials said the lockdown was prompted when a hand-written note was found in a boys' restroom just before 10 a.m.

The note said, "Watch out, 11:05 am," with the drawing of a handgun firing and hitting a person.

It also said, "I've got a 9 millimeter beretta in my bag. There's four of us. I got 15 rounds and one in the chamber."

Heidi Armstrong, superintendent for the Campbell and Kapolei complex, said that whenever schools get information about an alleged threat "we have to take it seriously and act upon it."

Uniformed and plainclothes police officers were called to the high school and when no violence materialized and there was no evidence of threatening material, the school gave the all-clear at 11:30 a .m., Armstrong said.

The incident left some students scared and others shaking their heads.

"I think that if it's real, it should be addressed," said Brandon Heikell, a Campbell freshman. "But if it's just some prank, I think the kid should kind of grow up and it shouldn't be funny or anything like that."

His older sister, Adriana Heikell, a sophomore, said she was upset with whoever left the threatening note.

"It's really immature because it disturbs people's lives and it can mess people up. So I think that the person should come forward and take the consequences," Heikell said.

School officials said parents and relatives came to pick up at least 100 of Campbell's 3,000 students early after receiving phone alerts about the incident from the school at 10:45 a.m.

"I decided to take my daughter out of school early because she's afraid. She's afraid for her own life," said Melissa Mikasobe, whose daughter is a sophomore.

Mikasobe said the school was calm at midday, even as family members were taking their children out of class before the regular school ended at 2 p.m.

"I'm glad that the administrators here had also taken the necessary precautions and even practiced this lockdown before," Mikasobe said.

As a precaution, school officials also locked down four nearby elementary and intermediate schools.

There were no injuries and no arrests on any campus. School was not canceled and the great majority of kids stayed in class.

Armstrong, the area superintendent, lamented anonymous threats like these because they "disrupt learning and create a negative image" for the schools that are targeted.

"We are doing our best to teach kids and give them a positive learning environment and incidents like this do not help," Armstrong added.

Under state law, making threats like those at Castle and Campbell could be a misdemeanor crime, punishable by up to one year behind bars.

Sources said a third note with a general threat was found in a restroom at Pearl City High School at mid-afternoon Friday.


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