“Shots-fired” text message sends Roxana High School into lock-down

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ROXANA, IL (KTVI) - What proved to be a false text message from a student to a parent saying shots had been fired at the Roxana Junior Senior High School put the building and 950 students on lockdown Tuesday. Roxana Police learned of the message just after one pm. Officers from at least ten police departments responded to the small community just south of Wood River.

Anxious parents waited at the nearby Church of the Nazarene parking lot for word that they could pick up their children. Many had first learned of the problem when their students sent them text messages.

"This is very emotionally stressing for me," said Tanea Berry, the parent of a fourteen year old freshman. "This is crazy you have 500 parents out here about to have a panic attack over an April Fool`s joke."

Students in the cafeteria were told to evacuate to a park and community center nearby.

"People were jumping the fences, people were freaking out, scared cause we thought we were going to get shot," said Devn Reinke, a freshman.

Other students remained in their locked classrooms, huddled away from the doors.

By 2:20pm it became clear there were no shots fired. School administrators announced students would leave school on a normal schedule and made arrangements to handle the heavy traffic as worried parents lined up to pick up their youngsters.

Roxana`s Chief of Police Will Cunningham called the text message a 'very serious mistake.' He will discuss possible charges with the Madison County State`s Attorney. Roxana District Supt. Debra Kreutztrager promised to work with law enforcement to determine what school consequences might be enforced. She praised the police who responded and her staff for following all the district procedures for an intruder on campus.

The District Superintendent sent this statement in release to the media, "The Jr./Sr. High went on lockdown this afternoon due to a text message that was sent from a student stating that there were shots fired at the High School. Local responders took action immediately to initiate lock-down procedures. Local responders from all area police forces were on campus quickly to address the situation. The student was found and it is confirmed that there were NO Shots fired. All students are returning to their regular schedules. A special thank you to our staff and local responders for their quick action today."

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  • Kris

    Seriously…you are all idiots! Yes, the kid should be in serious trouble. It cost a lot of money for the authorities to respond to idiotic calls like that. No, the parents should not have to pay for the emergency services, the kid should…dearly.

    Someone could have accidentally been shot and killed in that situation. What that kid did was not different than yelling fire in a crowded building and that is illegal and not protected under the 1st Amendment!

    If that were my kid pulling a stupid stunt like that, then he would have to deal with the consequences. This was a high school not kindergarten, they are all old enough to know better and they are all old enough to accept responsibility for their actions.

    That is what is wrong with this country today. Everybody gets a trophy and it’s always someone else’s fault!

    • Greg

      Maybe we could go back to the regular dictionary and not the urban one. More excuses for a bad situation. They knew exactly what they were doing.

  • Betty Smith

    While you are all judging, a parent of one of the boys arrested is devastated after having to visit her son in jail. He’s a good kid and has never been in trouble before. He didn’t shoot the fireworks or have anything to do with the text. His friend sent the text and he told his friend it wasn’t funny. He had no idea 911 was called and when the school was put on lock down he thought it might be because of what his friend did. He was scared and by the time the authorities figured out what happened he got arrested for knowing and not telling. So he is guilty of being afraid to tell on his friend. If he would’ve known what it was going to cause he would’ve told someone.

  • Jaclyn Gruver

    Im sorry but that kid knowing and not telling anyone about it is just as bad as doing it himself. I have no sympathy for the kids that did it. I seen first hand what at least a few people went through because of that. My nephew goes to Roxana and not knowing if he was ok or not was a feeling none of the parents should have had to go through.

  • Karin

    Many police departments are charging people for legitimate calls because their towns are broke. I hate to see the bill for this stupidity. These kids are lucky no one got hurt or hospitalized over their JOKE. Never is guns being fired a joke. Especially in a school setting. I don’t know how old these kids are but they need a big dose of reality and lots of community service.

  • Nicole

    Its cases like this that the government takes away privileges that help keep us safe I hope these students get the bill and get to pay it either by job or community service I mean ALOT of hours towards it .

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