A gun scare put Tamahere School in lock down this afternoon for just under an hour.
Police were called to the school after senior students reportedly saw a stranger behind the school grounds wearing a balaclava and carrying what appeared to be a shotgun.
The lock down began around 1.20pm and was lifted around 2.10pm after police inspected the school grounds and the area where the stranger was spotted and did not find anything.
Parents, alerted to the unfolding drama by emails from the school, turned to the Residents of Matangi and Tamahere Facebook page to share updates and their concerns.
People passing the school reported seeing at least four police cars, the Armed Offenders Squad and police dogs at the school.
In the first email to parents just after 1.30pm, the school advised that children had all been accounted for and were safely locked inside.
“Please be aware this is not a drill so do not come on site at this stage, we will update you as soon as possible,” the emailed message said. “We are hoping this is just a false alarm but are erring on the side of caution.”
A police media spokesman said at least two police units arrived at the school and spoke with the principal and students who told police the balaclava wearing man was acting suspiciously on school grounds.
Police were called to the school at 1.20pm.
The final email to parents advising them the alert had been lifted stated: “We are pleased with how our staff and students have responded to this process and will always take the cautious approach with regard to such reports.”
Police will put on extra patrols at the school over the next few days.
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