ST. MARYS — An Auglaize County man made threats toward his family and others, placing St. Marys Memorial High School on lockdown Friday morning.
At approximately 10 a.m. Friday, school officials put the building on lockdown after receiving a warning from the St. Marys Police Department that the whereabouts of the man were unknown. The Auglaize County Sheriff’s Office received a similar notification at 9:21 a.m.
“The police just wanted to let us know this was going on, so we decided to take the precaution of going into a lockdown,” St. Marys superintendent Shawn Brown said. “This person wasn’t anywhere around the high school, but nobody knew where he was.”
According to the Auglaize County Sheriff’s Office, the county resident made threats toward his family and others. Officers from the sheriff’s office, St. Marys Police and Minster Police went to the residence and the individual’s place of employment while attempting to locate him.
Brown emphasized that at no time were threats made against the staff or students.
“He made no threats at all to anybody related to the school system,” Brown said.
The primary and intermediate schools were also placed on controlled access, meaning that only students and staff were allowed in the building.
“We normally keep one door unlocked during the day to allow the public to come into the main office, but in these cases, all the doors are locked, and we just keep a sharper eye to see who is around.”
Holy Rosary Catholic School and Tri-Star Career Compact were also notified of the lockdown. The lockdown lasted for 35 minutes while police searched for the individual.
“We have a lot of students that go back and forth to Tri-Star, so we wanted them to know what was going on,” Brown said.
During the lockdown, students remained in their classrooms and performed their normal schoolwork.
“We had done some training in the past on this,” Brown said. “In fact, the high school had just done some training on this last week, so they were pretty well versed in handling this.”
According to the sheriff’s office, the individual agreed to meet with law enforcement after contact was made following numerous telephone calls. After the meeting, officials decided the person required medical treatment. His name is not being released due to confidentiality concerns.
While the lockdown may have mildly disrupted the normal routine for the staff and students, Brown said that ensuring student safety was worth taking the extra precaution.
“We preferred to be better safe than sorry,” Brown said. “We’d rather have everyone healthy and safe and be second-guessed than have someone get hurt and be second-guessed. Hopefully it’s nothing we’ll have to do again.”