UPDATED: Male Juvenile Arrested in Lockdown Incident

He is charged with breach of peace

Police have arrested a male juvenile in connection with a lockdown that happened at Montville High School this morning, Montville Police Lt. Leonard Bunnell said this afternoon.

The juvenile was charged with breach of peace.

"There was no gun," Bunnell said, dispelling rumors that had circulated during the day. "Just several text messages that he was generating that alarmed people into thinking a gun was involved."

The events began around 10:30 this morning, when a parent called the school, reporting that a student might have a weapon.

A lockdown was called immediately, and Connecticut and Montville police, K-9 officers and emergency services personnel came to the scene.

After about an hour, Montville Police Officer Bruce Rockwell came out and told parents and media gathered in the high school parking lot that there was no immediate threat.

A half an hour fter that, Mayor Ron McDaniel and Superintendent Pam Aubin addressed the crowd. (You can hear McDaniel's statement in the video in the photo box).

Aubin said the initial report was made to a principal at another school, who then notified Montville High administrators. The lockdown procedures were implemented.

Police, with a canine, searched lockers but found nothing.

Principal Chad Ellis sent a letter home with students today, addressing the lockdown and explaining the events leading up to it. 

The letter reads, in part: 

We received a credible phone call around 10:35 a.m. from a parent reporting the possibility of a student in possession of a weapon in school. Upon receiving this information we immediately went into lockdown and called the police. Officers from the Montville Police Department and Connecticut State Police responded immediately and completed a thorough search. No weapons were found, but a student was detained for questioning.

The safety and security of your students is our first priority. I want to assure you that no one was injured and all safety protocols were followed."



Lynda J. Jean May 23, 2012 at 03:34 PM
Montville High School is in lockdown after getting a call about possible weapons, according to state police and school officials. The superintendent said the school received a call from someone who was concerned that a weapon might be at the school. The lockdown was issued around 10:45 a.m. Montville police are searching lockers. Nothing has been found and there are no injuries. Police have a student in custody for questioning.
No name May 23, 2012 at 04:59 PM
Everyones ok thank god im a student there it was said that there would be a shooting just after 11 o clock during the first lunch wave in the cafeteria
Ellen Hillman May 23, 2012 at 06:41 PM
No one was a distraction as the parents were all left outside and not told anything until it was over. At no time did anyone put anyone at risk. I appreshiate what you are saying about the phone lines. As for the texting of your student that is a violation of the school policy. Thank you to the parents that showed up and checked on their kids. I love my kids and would not of felt safe until I saw them for my self.
Laura Tanner May 23, 2012 at 06:46 PM
Great job by the Administration, Montville Police Department and State Police! After viewing the photos above, I find it disturbing there would be so many individuals who raced to the school during a time like this. You become a distraction for the men and women trying to keep our children and staff safe. Let them do their job and stay home. If you had no immediate need to be there you shouldn't have been. I ask that in the future should something like this happens again, and I pray it doesn't, that you stay home. When you go there you become another individual on the property they now need to protect and take away from those in immediate harms way. Don't call the school and tie up the lines, don't expect emails or global connect calls as the secretaries and administrators are on lock down too. Let the officials do what they need to do to keep those INside the building and already on the grounds safe. Trust me, I have a sophomore at MHS and was worried too, but I didn't race down there, I received a text message from her to say she was ok, I tuned into the news and let the process take its course. !
Laura Tanner May 23, 2012 at 06:46 PM
I ask that next time you please rethink going to the school or calling, I know we were all worried but, not knowing the facts of the situation, you could have potentially been in the way. Imagine if everyone followed your lead, the chaos would have been terrible! Thankfully this situation turned out uneventful, had it been a different one and more people raced down there, it could have been bad. Again, thank you to the Administrators, Montville Police Department and State Police for keeping my daughter and her peers safe!
Laura Tanner May 23, 2012 at 06:49 PM
And I'm pretty sure texting my daughter during a time like this would fall outside of the school policy, and if it doesn't I don't care. I knew she was safe without having to go down there and adding to the possible chaos.
Ellen Hillman May 23, 2012 at 06:51 PM
I agree I would not care either
Laura Tanner May 23, 2012 at 06:54 PM
I disagree with you Ellen. It doesn't matter if they were outside or not, no one knew the details of the situation, it could have been something worse. Yes, I know the PDs would have handled it differently BUT had all the parents who have students in the HS raced down there it would have been chaos. I too care about my daughter but was smart enough to let the protocols fall into place and stay put. You can ask any officer and they will tell you it's best for you to stay away and let them do what they are trained to do.
Laura Tanner May 23, 2012 at 06:55 PM
Bottom line is this incident turned out uneventful thanks to the quick thikingnofnthe administration and the fast action the PD. Thank younall
Ellen Hillman May 23, 2012 at 07:17 PM
Then we can agree to disagree if something were to happen to my child I would have to be there not elsewhere. I would not be able to live with myself.
kahl May 23, 2012 at 09:48 PM
yeah the teachers were really pissed about the kids texting their parents that they were not shot and trying to find out was going on.
kahl May 23, 2012 at 09:50 PM
as a student at the school i was not worried because the majority of us had our switches and most of the teachers had their guns out quickly, so the situation didnt spiral out of control
kahl May 23, 2012 at 09:52 PM
actually it doesnt, the principal was coming around collecting phones. school policy stays in effect even when there is possibly a gunman in the school
Salem May 24, 2012 at 01:02 AM
It was pretty crazy because parents were mad that the school was not calling to INFORM them of the lock down......... DURING THE lock down. REALLY!?? I was there. It was handled professionally from the schools perspective. But some of the parents went overboard. The secretaries are NOT going to come out of hiding to call YOU during a lock down. Sorry. They were doing their job and following protocol.
Elizabeth May 24, 2012 at 02:22 AM
Parents deserve to be kept informed during a worrisome time like this, especially when they feel their children may be at risk. It is completely unacceptable for Ms. Tanner to lecture parents and advise them on what they should or should not have done. There should be a plan, and back-up plans, in place to keep parents informed and I'm certain that not one parent intented on interfering with emergency personnel. If the administrative staff was in lock-down then a back-up plan should have been activated and parents should have been informed. Nobody needs to be reminded emergency personnel did an excellent job and I've heard the school staff was very well prepared. However, the superintendent was very, very unimpressive in a clip on WFSB. She laughed about being in the lock-down too. This is not a laughing matter. After a day like today where parents worried about what was happening it is difficult to read Ms. Tanner's directives about what parents should have done. We can take those directives from the emergency officials or maybe a phone call this morning that should have said we shouldn't go to the school, the children were fine and there were no injuries. There are no excuses for parents being kept in the dark and for school board members being notified before parents. If someone had time to call board members, then I'm sure someone could have activated a parent notification plan. If one doesn't exist then the superintendent should come up with one.
Jenny O'Sullivan May 24, 2012 at 03:06 AM
I am also a student there. I am a freshman and was in algebra class when this happened. One of my friends and I were very frightened but mainly for the safety of others because we felt we were completely safe thanks to the help of the staff and the protocol for these situations. Yes there was a rumor that the threat was to have a shooting during first lunch. There were also rumors that shots were fired and even that three guns were found in a students locker. However, the second two are not true and the first cannot be proven as of yet. In my knowledge no one has gotten arrested and only one student was taken out for questioning. I do not believe that people were going around the school taking phones because this was a SERIOUS SITUATION but I know that my teacher allowed us to use our phones (if we had them on us) to text our parents and let them know that we were okay. It was very stressful and many people did cry afterwards during lunches as did I, because of how shocking the situation was. A lot of people were scared, but otherwise nothing went wrong.
Jerry Roberts May 24, 2012 at 03:24 AM
I could not agree with you more Laura. Emergency personnel are there for the "immediate" situation. Calling the school or 911 during a lock down to find out what is going on is counterproductive, to put it mildly. Let the school administration and public service personnel do their job to keep our kids safe first.
Chuck Longton May 24, 2012 at 11:51 AM
I totally agree with the things you said excepting your comment about Ms. Tanner. Her comments were exactly right. As both a parent and a grandparent I can really sympathize with the desire to "go down there" but my personal experience tells me it is the wrong thing to do. While it is true that no one going down there has any intention of getting in the way, the simple fact is that they do. Now the police must seek out the offender and protect our children *and* divide and allocate their scarce resources to also protect a growing crowd of concerned parents. So while it is completely natural to want to "go down there", it really is the wrong thing to do. Your added presence only serves to make your child less safe while the police now try to protect you as well as them. Their attention is divided. Having said that I agree that Ms. Aubin needs to immediately put a parental information network in place for the express purpose of keeping parents in the loop in any future incident. While still not easy, it is easier to stay home, and thus out of the way, when you know that your child is safe. Not knowing is what prompted the parents to converge on the school. School is supposed to be a place of learning. Hopefully Ms. Aubin has learned this difficult lesson and will take corrective action. So your comments are right on point, excepting your criticism of Ms. Tanner.
J. Arrington May 24, 2012 at 12:13 PM
Councilor Longton, it appears you like to take political pot shots at educated women. Let me remind you that Superintendent Aubin is exceedingly trained in events like what occurred yesterday. What are your or Councilor Tanner's training in crisis intervention other than extolling your opinions. Back off and let Ms. Aubin do the job she is trained and paid to do! Because she does a remarkable job given the monetary resources at her disposal.
Chuck Longton May 24, 2012 at 02:14 PM
If you will reread what I wrote, I did not criticize Ms Aubin. All I did was point out a need that she is in a position to address. I know she does a good job – that is not an issue. But sometimes needs only become identified when a crisis of some kind exposes them. This is such a case in my opinion. This incident has identified a communication hole that was not previously apparent. She is in a position to close that hole and my comment was that I hoped she would do that quickly – nothing more. There was no intent of “potshots” as you call it. You are assuming things that are simply not there. As for your question, I was trained in the military in crisis management.
J. Arrington May 24, 2012 at 04:36 PM
Considering that you are trained in crisis management Councilor Longton, then you know there must be a change of command in any crisis. Again, Superintendent Aubin's position in the that chain is quite high. This is not the first nor the last crisis that she will have to navigate. In this situation she did it with professionalism and sensitivity to the issue. Additionally, your quote "Having said that I agree that Ms. Aubin needs to immediately put a parental information network in place for the express purpose of keeping parents in the loop in any future incident" is concerning at best. When a crisis occurs, sending immediate communications to all parents is dangerous to the students, staff, and public safety officials. I believe this situation was handled with the utmost regard to all the aforementioned individuals.
kahl May 26, 2012 at 05:33 AM
many of the students were not worried at all because they realized that the police had it under control. only a few kids seemed really effected and the majority were completely fine and many, including myself, were joking around during and after the lockdown. your photographer can attest to that with students going up to him and offering to pretend to be dead and other students going outside and saying "who is going to make me famous?"
Chuck Longton May 26, 2012 at 01:08 PM
In crisis management it's vital to anticipate and prevent escalation of “foreign distraction”, the term used to describe outside things coming into play that diminish the resources available to handle the situation. Having frightened parents converging on the school is such a “foreign distraction”. The management team must now decrease it's resource allocation to the “actual” crisis to keep the growing crowd out of harm's way. Having a communication network in place and utilizing it quickly is the best way to head this off. The system can be completely automated. The crisis manager or their designatee need only record a single message of facts and assurances and have the computers robo-call the parents. A few may still come, but most will heed the manager's request to stay away until notified. This is easy to set up. Proper robo-calling is an extremely effective method of getting a message out to lots of people quickly and is ideally suited for a situation such as this. Just make sure the message is effectively worded. Collage campuses use this same method to notify students of a crisis situation on campus and it has proven to be extremely effective.


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