A large contingent of police cars arrived at Brookswood Secondary just as classes prepared to get out this afternoon after reports of a gun spotted outside the rural school.
“At this point in time, there is no evidence to indicate an armed individual entered the school and there have been no reports of injuries or violent acts,” said Langley RCMP’s top cop Supt. Murray Power.
The police dog unit conducted a sweep of the school, and parents are being told that kids will be released “in an orderly fashion” once the search is complete and it’s safe to let the students out.
Just before 3:30 p.m., the first of the students started exiting the school.
The lockdown order was lifted just a few minutes after 3 p.m., but it took some time for kids to be released.
WATCH: Students are released as the lockdown ends
“Students will be released from the school intermittently during the search,” said Langley RCMP spokesperson Cpl. Holly Largy.
“Brookswood Secondary Lockdown has been LIFTED. Students being released one class at a time as per RCMP protocol,” the school posted, still asking parents not to attempt to enter the school.
The incident began just before 2 p.m. when a student told the school’s principal that a person was on the school grounds, possibly with a gun.
The person was on school grounds, not inside the school. While some reports indicated it was a firearm, others have since indicate it may be bear spray or a knife.
“Initial reports were not firsthand so the school was immediately locked down out of an abundance of caution,” Largy said.
Police made a thorough search of the area, with numerous officers stationed outside. The Air One RCMP helicopter circled for some time, and a dog officer made a search through the school, said Sgt. Alexandra Mulvihill.
Parents arriving about 2:30 p.m. to pick up their kids, and found the large police presence continuing to roll in, with officers jumping out of their cruisers and suiting up with bullet proof vests. A reporter on scene counted as many as 15 police cruisers at the school.
Most parents waited calmly, as police provided periodic updates.
Divya Sobti came to pick up her children and found the driveway of the school full of police cruisers. She said she was worried, but the RCMP briefed parents and told them they believed no one dangerous was in the school.
“I’m okay,” she said.
Many parents gathered in the school parking lot, where they received confirmation that the school was in lockdown with assurances from police that no one was injured.
Kids from inside the school were connecting quickly with family to assure everyone they’re okay, but at the same time they were being told to stay off their phones.
A post from the school district confirmed the lockdown was done “under the advisement of the RCMP.”
But it specifies the person of interest to the RCMP was outside the building.
RCMP are attempting to locate the person, and the lockdown was initiated just to “ensure student safety.”
• More to come