Hours-long lockdown at Highlands Intermediate ends after all clear given

(Image: Hawaii News Now)
(Image: Hawaii News Now)
(Image: Hawaii News Now)
(Image: Hawaii News Now)
(Image: Hawaii News Now)
(Image: Hawaii News Now)

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - The principal of a Pearl City middle school put the campus on lockdown Tuesday after two pieces of luggage were found in front of the library.

Because no one knew where the bags came from and given recent threats to other schools in the area, staff at Highlands Intermediate immediately called Honolulu police and initiated emergency procedures.

"The alarm bells went off so we all went to the middle of the classroom. Our teacher turned off the lights and closed and locked the doors, " said student Tiara Leslie.

Just after 11 a.m., police blocked the road in front of the school as the bomb squad examined a suitcase and a carry-on.

Students say it was unclear exactly what was happening because there were no announcements and teachers had little information.

"I was in my science class. We were underneath the table," said seventh grader Joleina Lomavita. "I was scared. My heart was beating so fast."

HNN caught up with one mother who had rushed to the school after getting a frantic phone call from her daughter.

"When I got the message from work I just stopped what I was doing and hurried as quick as I could here because you never know what's going to happen. You just don't take life for granted anymore," said Jaclyn Lomavita.

After x-raying the bags, HPD determined they contained what looked like a teenage girl's clothing and a stuffed animal. Officials say the suitcase and its contents will be put into evidence.

Officers gave the all clear just after 2 p.m.

This story will be updated.

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