Franklin School locked down because of perceived active shooter threat
The Webb City Police Department responded to a school incident this week that was initially believed to be an active shooter event.
Around 11 a.m. Tuesday, Oct. 11, Franklin School went into lockdown because two men near the school property, at Tracy and Walker streets, had a box with the picture of an assault rifle.
Josh Flora, associate superintendent of business operations for the Webb City R-7 School District, was complimentary of the police response as he told School Board members that officers in nine police vehicles answered the 911 call.
Police Chief Don Melton says the 17- and 21-year-old men had just purchased a replica Airsoft rifle at Atwoods before walking with it to show it to the 17-year-old’s friend at a house near the school.
They were walking to the 17-year-old’s house when officers found them at the Take-A-Break convenience store at Main Street and MacArthur Drive.
Flora told the school board, “We thought we had an active shooter.” However, the replica rifle was harmless.
Summing up the incident, Melton said, “Everything worked perfectly. The school employee saw what he perceived as a threat and put the school on lockdown then called us. We were on scene within a couple of minutes and located the subjects.”
A fire alarm at around 5:40 a.m. on Saturday, Sept. 17, alerted first responders to what turned out to be a break-in at Mark Twain Elementary School, 1427 W. Aylor St.
Firefighters discovered when they arrived that there was no fire. Instead, the alarm had been set off by someone spraying a fire extinguisher.
Entrance was gained through the north (back) doors. Large rocks were found where two windows and a door glass had been broken out.
A wooden storage building had been entered by removing a door from its hinges.
Other damage included classroom items knocked over and thrown about. There were open food packages in the principal’s office and on the stage.
Flora said the break-in calls attention to the need for more security cameras around the district’s buildings.