Several students report seeing gun at Coloma Junior HS

Published: Oct. 9, 2017 at 11:49 AM EDT
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Coloma High School and Coloma Junior High School were placed on lockdown Monday morning after several people reported seeing a student with a gun.

The student was isolated and detained, according to the Coloma Township Police Department.

Officers from multiple departments searched the school and grounds, but no weapon was found.

The gun was reportedly seen in the junior high school, which is connected to the high school building. Police have not released the age of the student.

A criminal investigation will continue.

From Coloma Community Schools:

The Junior High and High School buildings in Coloma went on lockdown this morning around 9:30 AM when it was reported by students that another student had a weapon. The student was brought to the office for questioning and the police were called immediately.

"Officers arrived and questioned the student who was reported to have the weapon," Coloma superintendent Pete Bush stated. "Officers did not locate a weapon on the student. Officers continued to investigate and searched several more areas around the high school gymnasium and junior high building and grounds."

The lockdown at Coloma High School was removed by 11:15 AM once it was determined that there was no threat to students in that building. Coloma Junior High remained on a soft lockdown, with students in their classrooms, throughout the remainder of the day as police continued their search and investigation. Students were escorted to the cafeteria in small groups for lunch and also to the restrooms.

“The police have conducted a thorough search of our buildings and have not found any weapons.” Bush said. “Our staff and students should be commended for their patience and

cooperation as we worked diligently to ensure the safety of everyone. We would like to thank the Coloma Township Police Department and the Berrien County Sheriff's Department for all of their support and efforts. We are confident that our schools are safe and we can return to normal activities on Tuesday. I would like to also thank our parents and our community for their patience and cooperation during a difficult situation as we make the safety of our students our top priority.”

Following the investigation, the student was turned over to his mother. His name was withheld because he is a juvenile. No students reported that any threats were ever made, just an indication that the student had the weapon.

From Chief Jason Roe of the Coloma Township Police Department:

At approximately 9:50am the Coloma Township Police Department was notified that the Coloma Junior High School was going into lockdown after reports that a student in the building had a weapon. Coloma High School was also placed into lockdown as a precaution because the schools are connected.

The student believed to be involved in the incident was isolated and detained. While speaking with other students and staff officers learned that several students observed the suspect in possession of a weapon, possibly a small pistol, shortly before the incident was reported to school staff.

Officers from Coloma Township and the Berrien County Sheriff’s Department conducted a thorough search of the school and surrounding grounds. A Sheriff’s Department Canine Unit also assisted in the search. No weapon was located.

The criminal investigation will continue. The case will be turned over to the Berrien County Prosecutor’s Office once it is complete.

No further information is available at this time.