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Missoula High School Locked Down After Alleged Threats

Josh Burnham
Montana Public Radio
Hellgate High School in Missoula

Missoula police detained three juveniles Thursday afternoon following an alleged threat of violence that led to an hour-long lockdown at Hellgate High School.

Police spokesperson Lydia Arnold says three juveniles are being questioned.

“The police department is going to be working in coordination with those juveniles’ parents for additional questioning regarding the incident today,” she says.

Arnold says the incident unfolded just before one o’clock.

“The threat had come from some students reporting that they had overheard a student talking about a potential school shooting,” she says.

Arnold says the threat suggested a student with a firearm was planning “some sort of event that was going to take place at 1:30.”

The Hellgate school resource officer relayed that information to police and helped school administrators initiate a school-wide lockdown.

A heavy police presence including FBI, U.S. Marshals, Probation and Parole, Missoula County Sheriff’s Office, and Montana Highway Patrol helped city police establish a security perimeter around the school and surrounding neighborhood.

Students, staff and teachers barricaded themselves in their classrooms and offices until the all-clear was given around 2:30 p.m. No injuries were reported.

Missoula County Public School officials tell Montana Public Radio that Hellgate classes will resume as scheduled tomorrow. No additional police presence is anticipated.
Copyright 2021 Montana Public Radio. To see more, visit Montana Public Radio.

Edward O'Brien is Montana Public Radio's Associate News Director.