Three face charges in connection to school lockdown

ABERDEEN, S.D. (By Elisa Sand – Three people are facing charges following a police investigation that led to a brief lockdown at Central High School on Monday afternoon.

Aberdeen Police Capt. Tanner Jondahl said two men and one woman have been charged in an incident that started with a phone call from the woman to police.

According to a news release from the school district after Monday’s lockdown the call was made to report an incident in the parking lot involving a weapon and threats to another person. While the school news release indicated one person was charged, Jondahl said, the police investigation continued and led to additional charges.

The call reporting the threat came in about 2:45 p.m., Jondahl said, and resulted in a lockdown soon after. Student dismissal, which starts shortly before 3 p.m., started about 3:25 p.m.

While the police investigation did determine there was no credible threat, Jondahl said, all three have been charged with possession of a dangerous weapon on school grounds, which, in this case, is a BB gun, that was at one point in a vehicle on school property.

Jondahl said, all three people involved in this incident were not at the school when police arrived, but were found later. Police remained on scene at the school to search both parking lots to ensure no one was in the parking lot and to rule out the possibility of a threat.

All three are adults, he said, and at least two are not students at the school. As the three have not yet made court appearances, Jondahl said, he could not release the names of those facing charges.

The BB gun was also recovered by police, Jondahl said, but he could not go into detail about where it was found.

All three are also facing charges of disruption of school and the woman was charged with making a false report. These are all misdemeanor charges, Jondahl said.

The first call to parents was issued about 20 minutes after the incident started. Superintendent Becky Guffin said the school’s first priority with an incident like this is ensuring staff and students are safe and that law enforcement is responding. Then, she said, it takes time to determine what’s happening so parents can be notified.