Two Hamilton County schools put on lockdown because of duck hunting?

Two Hamilton County schools put on lockdown because of duck hunting?

Duck hunters possible cause for shots that put two schools in Hamilton County on alert Wednesday

September 12th, 2018 by Meghan Mangrum in Breaking News

CORRECTION: This story was updated Sept. 12, 2018, at 6:05 p.m. to correct the date to Wednesday.

Duck hunters might have prompted two schools in Hamilton County to be on lockdown Wednesday morning.

Reports of shots fired nearby led to Brainerd High School and Boyd-Buchanan School, a private K-12 school, to declare lockouts or lockdown procedures.

The Chattanooga Police Department said it responded to a shots fired call around 8:30 a.m. on North Moore Road.

According to the department, "The reporting party stated that they may have heard the shots fired coming from the woods in that area," but officers did not discover a threat.

Elisa Myzal, spokeswoman for the department, confirmed that CPD believed the shots came from duck hunters.

"Historically it's been duck hunters in the area this time of year, that time of day. Someone hears shots fired and they've located duck hunters in the past," Myzal said in an email.

However, officers did not find duck hunters or anyone else in the woods Wednesday morning, she added.

An initial email sent by Boyd-Buchanan to parents and families around 8:30 a.m. attributed the lockdown to potential shots fired at Brainerd High School, which is about a mile away.

Later, the school sent a corrected email clarifying that the incident that prompted the lockdown occurred "behind Brainerd High School," not at the school.

The initial email also stated that "suspects were in CPD's custody," but the police department said no one was located.

Brainerd High also implemented lockout procedures Wednesday, in response to an incident in the community, according to Hamilton County Schools spokesman Tim Hensley.

Lockout procedures mean no one is allowed inside the school, but activities such as changing classes or moving within the building continue. Lockdowns occur when students and teachers remain in one location until the lockdown is lifted.

The school day at Brainerd High continued as normal, but access to the school was limited to students and staff.

Brainerd High's lockout did not affect a community event, the Future Ready Institutes kickoff also on Wednesday. At Boyd-Buchanan, students and faculty remained on lockdown for about 20 minutes.

"The safety and security of our students and faculty are of the utmost importance. We were alerted of potential shots fired in the Brainerd area. We immediately declared a soft lockdown until we received confirmation that the incident was resolved," said Casey Knox, director of communications for the school.

Wednesday was the last day of this year's wood duck season, per the 2018-19 Tennessee Hunting and Trapping Guide. Teal season continues until Sept. 16.

Contact staff writer Meghan Mangrum at mmangrum@timesfreepress.com or 423-757-6592. Follow her on Twitter @memangrum.


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