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Harris-Lake Park schools lock down due to shooting threat

LAKE PARK, Iowa -- Harris-Lake Park schools were under a one-hour lockdown Friday morning after a school shooting threat was made through social media.


H-LP Superintendent Dennis Peters said students alerted administrators to an Instagram post that threatened a specific student as well as the whole school. Peters said the individual resides in another school district.


“You have a choice to make when you get a threat and we decided to go into lockdown until we could determine the credibility of the threat and notify law enforcement,” Peters said.


According to a press release written by the Lake Park Police Department, officers perceived the threat as viable and law enforcement intervened. Officers were on the scene at both the elementary school and the high school/middle school during the incident.


“The number one priority is the safety of our students and staff,” Peters said. “Students stayed on their regular schedule, but we were not allowing anybody in or out of the building.”


A H-LP fifth-grader said in a phone interview that she attended class on her regular schedule and  didn’t know about the threat until she returned home after classes.


“I was like, ‘Wow, somebody tried to do that to our school,”’ she said.


Peters said the lockdown was lifted after the suspect was in custody. He added that he’s very thankful the situation was effectively handled and nobody was hurt.


He explained the importance of asking students to communicate any kind of danger or threat to teachers and staff.


“We encourage students if there is something threatening out there, we do want them to notify an adult, teacher or administrator,” Peters said. “Twice a year we practice lockdown and active-shooter type situations because it not only happens in schools, but in theaters and malls.”


The suspect remains in custody, and the incident is under investigation.