Central Lockdown Ends Safely

Update: 10:30pm

- It was a message no parent or school principal wants to hear, that a student brought a handgun inside the building. That's exactly what happened at Central High School in Champaign.
The weapon turned out to be an airsoft gun.
Police questioned two students about the weapon. The airsoft gun was found in a second floor classroom. Police were then led to the gazebo in Central park. That's where they found pellets for the airsoft gun.

"You obviously don't want to have things like this happen." It was a typical Friday for central high school principal Joe Williams until a staff member told him what a student witnessed in the building.
"They saw another student with a backpack that may contain a gun," said Renee Dunn of the Champaign Police Department.
"With that kind of information we act on very quickly," said principal Williams. "We drop everything we're doing."
That meant putting the school into a full lockdown. Nobody allowed in or out. Same goes for the classrooms.
"Students aren't allowed in the hallway. They can't go from class to class; they can't go to the restroom," he said.
The students that were outside were getting back from open lunch. "Police decided until we figured out more to the issue we really didn't want to add more bodies to the school as far as students that we needed to take care of make sure were safe," he added.
"It looks to be under control from the outside," said parent Ebonni Akins as she waited outside during the lock down. "As far as the inside you know, we can't get in so I'm not too sure. I won't know anything until my son and my daughter are home safely."
And eventually that's where they ended up. Those outside went home early.
Students still inside were slowly dismissed one classroom at a time. It might not be exactly how Williams drew it up in his drills, but the outcome was all that mattered.
"We were extremely proud of what our staff did, of our students," said Williams. "It's one of those scary feelings we all have. But we're thankful we came to a conclusion on it.
Williams says parents got an e-mail about the lockdown a few minutes after it happened. They got a follow up e-mail about an hour later on how their kids were being dismissed. The two students questioned by police were released. Police say they were cooperative. No word yet on if they face any criminal charges or punishment from the district.

Update: 4:28pm
CHAMPAIGN -- Police were searching for a weapon witnesses say a student carried into school. The gun scare happened at Central High School about 12:30 pm. The building went into full lock-down.
    A 16-year old male student was taken into custody. The weapon, a pellet gun, was found on the building's second floor.
    Dozens of upperclassmen were in the middle of off-campus lunch when the lock-down started. They weren't allowed back inside. Nobody was allowed to leave the building until it was all clear.
    Parents pulling up to the school were confused about what was going on. It started with a soft lock-down, but district leaders say it became a hard lock-down. That means no one is allowed in or out of the building, and no one can leave classrooms.
    Students who were already outside the building for off-campus lunch were allowed to go home. The school then started dismissing students from inside the building one classroom at a time about 2:30 pm.

Original: 1:38
CHAMPAIGN -- Central High School is on lock down. Police responded to reports of a student with a gun. A 16 year old student is now in custody. Officials say one student reported seeing another student with a gun in his backpack. Police are still searching for the alleged weapon. They're also questioning another student who may have been in contact with the backpack said to be carrying the weapon. Police say students are safe at this time. Those who left the school for lunch are not being allowed back in the building.

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