WALWORTH, N.Y. (WROC) — Police say one person is in custody and no one was injured after false reports of an active shooter caused Gananda Middle School to go into lockdown Friday morning.
A heavy police presence responded to the school around 11 a.m. Responding agencies include New York State Police and the Wayne County Sheriff’s Office.
Police began working to lift the lockdown shortly before 1 p.m. and parents were allowed to walk to the school as an early dismissal of students began.
According to the Wayne County Sheriff Rob Bilby, 911 received a text message about a reported kidnapping and a person with a gun. He said the tips all came from the same source, but no guns were recovered after the school was searched. The sheriff used the word “hoax” to describe the situation.
“After lunch, we would go outside but a police officer came up with a rifle in his hand, and then another cop came up with a pistol,” said 6th-grade student Angelo Brongo. “Then there was an announcement that there was a lockdown. We went to the band room and hid there. It was very cramped and a lot of people there.
“I was in the middle of taking a math test when we heard the announcement,” said 7th-grade student May Minguela. “She told me to get under her desk while she was behind the chair. Then we started hearing people yelling outside the room.”
According to the sheriff, an eighth-grade student was taken into custody. Officials said the student has been charged with falsely reporting an incident, but did not release their identity.
The lockdown at the middle school also prompted lockouts at the nearby high school and elementary school.
A lockdown differs from a lockout whereas a lockout is used to secure grounds during an incident that poses a threat outside a building where no one is allowed in or out. A lockdown is used to secure a building where a threat occurs inside or near the building.
Police set up a barrier to keep parents from getting too close to the school before the scene was secure. They were later allowed to walk to the campus and pick up their kids.
Parents of the students said they feared the worst and were desperately trying to reach their kids by phone from behind the police barriers. They now want the school district to pull together and stop this kind of behavior.
“I would like to see more of a police presence,” said parent Tom Carecci. “There probably is now but just to be on guard to protect our kids because I can’t protect them when they’re here.”
“It’s not okay or a joke,” said Mikki Minguela, who is the mother of May Minguela. “You have this whole community that you have scared to death.”
Minguela also said that she is fed up with gun violence and threats plaguing schools across the nation to the point where she won’t send her children back to school for the rest of the year.
Parents who have children in the elementary and high school also took their kids out as early as campuses were allowed to dismiss. Each family said they were going to go home and heal their minds from this false alarm.
Last week a 17-year-old Gananda High School student was arrested after making a threatening social media post with what appeared to be an assault rifle. The student was arrested off school grounds and the incident prompted a lockout to be initiated.
Two weeks ago Friday a large police presence — including officers from the FBI, state police, Monroe County Sheriff’s Office, and Rochester Police Department — responded to Scottsville Road, near the Rochester airport, for the report of a possible active shooter, but turned out to be a false call with no injuries or evidence of a shooter.
Check back with News 8 WROC as we will continue to update this developing story.