PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) – Salem-Keizer Public Schools announced a lockdown at Parrish Middle School and North Salem High School has been lifted after reports of a suspicious person with a handgun in the area.
Salem Police Department said officers received a report just after 1:30 p.m. of a man walking near North Salem High School wearing a sports-type mask and carrying a handgun. According to the report, the man was last seen near the school’s track.
The school went into lockdown around 1:35 p.m. and due to close proximity, Parrish Middle School was also placed on lockdown, the school district said.
Salem police searched the area, including inside school buildings, however they were unable to find the suspect.
The lockdowns were lifted just after 2:50 p.m. and the district reported that all students and staff are safe.
The district also required parents and guardians to pick up Englewood and Grant Elementary students, as the schools are nearby.
Salem-Keizer Public Schools emphasized there was no active shooter situation at North Salem High School or Parrish Middle School, despite some social media reports.
In a statement, Superintendent Christy Perry said “I’m incredibly thankful for our safety and security team, our strong partnership with the Salem Police Department and their quick and thorough response to the report. At the core of our systems is prompt reporting. I’m sorry that we live in a world where schools need to respond in this way, but our staff and students at North Salem High School and Parrish Middle School did all the right things today.”
Salem Police Department noted the investigation is ongoing.
In a statement, Salem Police Chief Trevor Womack said “the recent horrific shooting in Texas has our students, parents, and community on edge, understandably. From the start of the incident, we maintained good communication with the Salem-Keizer Public Schools staff who immediately initiated lockdown protocols.”
He added, “we want our community to know that we are prepared and ready to keep our school campuses safe, as exemplified by today’s rapid response.”