ANCHORAGE - There were some frightening moments this morning at Dimond High School after a student brought a gun to class. The school was put on “lock down” status shortly after 9:30 a.m. and police were called.
Across town, parents like Ingrid Klinkhart were getting alarming text messages about what was happening inside the building.
“My daughter and I had been texting and I got a text from her saying apparently there is someone in the school with a gun,” said Klinkhart. “It was pretty scary, I mean with what happened in Connecticut fresh in my mind, getting a text like that from my daughter. I had no idea what was going on.”
Today the school district had only praise for what did go on. District spokesperson Heidi Embley said students stayed inside their classrooms while police quickly located the 16-year-old gunman and put him under arrest.
“It’s pretty nerve-wracking when you are going into a lockdown and you know it's a real situation following the news of Sandy Hook,” said Embley. “You don’t what’s going on; there's lots of opportunity for you to panic or do something out of quick reaction rather than what you've practiced, but that wasn’t the case at all. Everybody was calm and did what they needed to do.”
The handgun turned out to be a BB gun and classes were back in session a short time later. The entire incident lasted about 15 minutes.
School officials say one thing they have learned from the Connecticut shooting is the importance of getting information out to parents quickly. As soon as today’s incident was under control they sent out a phone message to Dimond parents and posted the latest information on the District’s Facebook and Twitter accounts.
As for the student, he has not been identified because he is a juvenile. Police said he is facing several charges including terroristic threatening and assault in the second degree. The district said it will recommend his expulsion from school as well.