Update 2:32 SPD and Seattle Schools just wrapped up a media briefing. No weapon found yet. Search will continue awhile longer, but students are being released. “A little bit of a slow release,” said Seattle Schools spokeswoman Stacy Howard, who thanked parents and students for their patience. Normal after-school activities for today, and regular school day tomorrow.
The school received the initial report from a student that another student was in possession of a gun, said Howard. It was a “very specific” description that led police to believe it was credible. Sgt. Sean Whitcomb said officers searched the school ground and locked down the campus “out of an abundance of caution.” Whitcomb said the campus is safe.
Meanwhile, SPD says it’s still talking with several students that were with the suspect when he was arrested at the Taco Bell on 15th. “It’s still under investigation,” Whitcomb said.
Update 2:21 The school is beginning to release students, SPD says. It doesn’t appear officers located the weapon.
Update 2:09 SPD reports they are on track for release between 2 and 3.
Update 1:39 Principal Wynkoop and Chief O’Toole updating students.
Update 1:25: The SPD is working with staff to get Ballard HS students released between 2 and 3 pm. Update 1:11 Parents and students will be glad to hear that Seattle PD says it’s working with school officials “toward an on time release.”
Update 1:08 The Ballard Talisman (school paper) reports on Twitter that officers are searching each classroom for the gun.
Update 1:00 Seattle PD says officers are still searching.
Update 12:56 Seattle Times says the original arrest went down near the Taco Bell, which would explain the police response. The call came in at 11:21 a.m.
Update 12:48 Seattle PD says there is no standoff at the Taco Bell on 15th (which was reported by the Ballard News-Tribune). Several Ballard residents told us they saw police respond to the Taco Bell a few blocks away from the school, but it appears to be nothing serious.
Update 12:43 Students are being moved into the gym and asked to leave their belongings in the classrooms, according to a parent in comments below and a student who sent us a tweet. Seattle PD says the school is secure, but we still see an ongoing search for a weapon. As reported earlier, a student was taken into custody off campus, and there are no reports of injuries.
Update 12:33 Officers and a police dog are searching the bushes around the school, and they’ve blocked off the entrance to the school’s parking lot.
Update 12:24 Parents and students are telling us the school is locked down but not evacuated. Students returning from lunch are being told to stay off campus for now.
Update 12:15 We’re also seeing social media reports of police at the Taco Bell on 15th, about 5 blocks away. KIRO’s chopper is live over Ballard here.
Update 12:07 SPD statement: “Seattle police and school officials are investigating after a student was reportedly seen with a firearm Thursday at Ballard High School. Officers and a SWAT team responded to the school and quickly located the student off campus. Officers took the teenage male into custody, but were not immediately able to locate a firearm. Out of an abundance of caution, police have evacuated the school and are searching the campus to ensure the safety of students and faculty.”
Update 12:03 p.m.: KIRO and Q13 are reporting that police are searching the school for a weapon after a student was arrested off campus.
No reports of any injuries. No confirmation of a lockdown.
Earlier: We’re seeing several reports on social media of a Seattle police presence and possible lockdown at Ballard High.
We’re doing some checking and will report updates soon…