Mounties recovered two loaded firearms and arrested two youth outside Lake City Secondary School Columneezta campus Friday afternoon (Nov. 19) following reports of a person outside the school with a handgun.
The incident triggered a lockdown of the 750-student middle school and nearby Nesika Elementary School at about 12:14 p.m., and a swift response from Williams Lake RCMP who stationed armed officers along Western Avenue while securing the scene.
Officers and a police service dog conducted a thorough search of the area and recovered two loaded firearms during the course of the lockdown.
Two youth, both 14, have been arrested and remain in custody.
Staff Sgt. Janelle Shoihet of the BC RCMP noted while the investigation is continuing, early indications are the firearms may be linked to an overnight break-in at a local firearm retail outlet in Williams Lake.
While the lockdown was in place students inside Columneezta communicated with their parents by text messages, saying they were tucked under their desks in classrooms inside the school.
The public was asked to stay away from the area until the lockdown ended at 1:10 p.m.
Concerned parents did arrive outside the school to pick up their children in the moments after the lockdown was lifted.
A few hours after the lockdown, School Distrist 27 superintendent Chris van der Mark praised the efforts and quick response of school staff as well as the RCMP.
“The quick actions of Mr. Craig Munroe and his staff, George Fraser, John Harding and Hattie Darney were exceptional,” said van der Mark, who also commended the administration staff for handling a ‘flood of calls’ from parents and the speedy response by police.