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Fort Washakie schools went to lockdown after gunshot heard

Dec 20, 2017 By Kelli Ameling, Staff Wrier

Fremont County School District 21 was placed on lockdown Tuesday after staff heard gunshots near campus.

Fort Washakie superintendent Terry Ebert said the incident occurred at about 11:30 a.m.

"Our staff reported hearing high-power rifle shots to the southwest of our campus," Ebert explained. "These shots were not on our campus, however we went into lockdown until the Wind River Police Department could determine the threat level."

The lockdown lasted about 30 minutes, Ebert said; during that time a message went out to parents and guardians of the students.

"A school employee has reported hearing high-powered rifle shots being fired on the (southwest) side of the campus," Ebert wrote in the message. "We are currently in lockdown while the Wind River PD investigates. We will provide more information when it is available."

Once the lockdown was lifted, around noon, scanner traffic indicated WRPD were still going to patrol the area. In a second message to parents, Ebert said police found no credible threat in relation to the report gunshots.

"All schools are currently back on their normal status," he wrote. "Thank you for your concern. ... We strive to keep you informed when a serious matter arises."

Ebert said the district was thankful there was not a real threat, but he added, "We don't intend to ignore any potential threats, and we will continue to react in a proactive manner."

This is the second time within a week that a school in Fremont County has had to take action in response to a possible threat.

Lander Valley High School was placed on a stay put order last Wednesday, Dec. 13, requiring students to stay in their classrooms with the doors and windows locked while school officials investigated the situation.

Lander Police Department public information officer Duane Kaiser said a third party had reported overhearing possible threats two weeks prior. As a result, the LPD was called the high school at about 1:50 p.m. Dec. 13 to help the school resource officer with the investigation.

Staff and law enforcement located the subject, who was interviewed along with counselors from Fremont Counseling.

Kaiser said no criminal charges were issued, and the school is handing the outcome of the investigation.

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