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Jamestown schools briefly enter lockout

A Jamestown school staff member is pictured Wednesday. Photo by Eric Tichy

A person deemed suspicious prompted brief lockouts at two Jamestown schools Wednesday afternoon.

Shortly after noon, a male reportedly wearing dark clothing had been spotted in the area of Jamestown High School. It wasn’t clear who saw the man or where he was in regard to the school grounds.

Responding officers were notified that the person, using cameras in the area, appeared to have something resembling a handgun.

In a statement, Jamestown Public Schools said the East Second Street high school went into a lockout as a result of the suspicious person. A lockout, the school district said, means no one is allowed entry into the school, outside classes are brought inside and interior operations continue as normal.

A lockout also was activated at Washington Middle School on Buffalo Street out of precaution “related to a person of interest that (the Jamestown Police Department) was looking for,” the school district said.

Word of a male near the high school prompted Jamestown police to canvass the area. Officers later verified there was no immediate threat.

In its statement, the district said officers remained around the schools Wednesday afternoon.

Around the same time, the Olean Police Department in Cattaraugus County said a student from a district not in the area reported to their school resource officer “about seeing something on Snap Chat about school violence in Olean and Ellicottville.”

New York state troopers and other agencies responded, and both schools went into lockout.

Later, Olean police released the following statement: “It has been determined through investigation that the earlier posted possibility of a threat is not credible and the lockout is now lifted and Olean City Schools are back to normal procedures.”

Wednesday’s incidents came not 24 hours after 19 children and two teachers were killed at an elementary school in Texas. The attack in the predominantly Latino town was the deadliest school shooting in the U.S. since December 2012 when a gunman killed 20 children and six adults at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, Conn.

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