NORMANDY, MO (KTVI) - Reports of an intruder at a north St. Louis County middle school on Thursday prompted a lockdown and full-fledged investigation.
Normandy Middle School parents are holding their kids a little bit tighter, knowing that the threat of an intruder like this can end in tragedy. Parent Rozina Johnson says, “My daughter called me, she was crying, she was like, there’s an intruder, so I ran up here as fast as I could, and couldn’t get in.”
School property was blocked off for nearly an hour, as police investigated a text message, sent by one student to another at around 3 in the afternoon, stating that there was an intruder inside the middle school.
Normandy School District Spokesperson Daphne Dorsey says, “Once we found that information out, precautions were taken to lock the school down. We alerted our security personnel, and local law enforcement officials from the nearby communities came in to assist.”
It was a traumatic experience for several of these students. Eighth grader Heaven Thomas explains, “It was scary because our counselor, she was putting a shelf by the door, like it was a real emergency. And she had a stool, just in case, you know, they came in.”
“They said that we should stay in the classroom and get down on the ground,” adds seventh grader DeAnn McKenzie, “I thought it was going to be my last few moments of life.”
Law enforcement did a complete sweep of the building, and found no signs of an intruder. By 3:30, the lockdown had ended, 30 minutes after regular dismissal time. The scene was gridlock, as buses pulled out, and confused parents tried to pick up their children.
“I was scared because they didn’t call us, hadn’t told us anything. Just to hear her call me, I’m just wondering what’s going on, why they hadn’t called any parents yet,” says Johnson.
But the school district spokesperson says there was a reason for the delayed communication with parents: “We want to make sure that we’re aware of the situation, as soon as we determine what’s going on, then we’re in the process, if we haven’t already done so, of doing automated robocalls to our parents at Normandy Middle School, alerting them about what’s going on.”
There are still unanswered questions about the origin of this threat, but for now, both parents and students are relieved. Hugging her daughter, Johnson says, “I’m glad she’s right here.”
The elementary school next door was also placed on lockdown as a precaution.