Central High School dismisses students early after lockdown
Updated 6:05 p.m.
CHAMPAIGN - Champaign police detained a 16-year-old student for questioning Friday afternoon after they found a pellet gun at Champaign Central High School.
The school was locked down while police searched for a possible weapon.
A student reported seeing another carrying a backpack that may have had a gun in it, said Champaign police spokeswoman Rene Dunn.
That student was questioned, Dunn said, but he didn’t have a backpack in his possession, prompting a police search of the school.
Several Champaign police officers were on each floor, Dunn said, and students were kept in classrooms during the search.
Eventually police recovered the pellet gun in a room on the second floor of the high school.
Dunn said that police Friday afternoon recovered some pellets at West Side Park that they believe may be connected with the pellet gun found at the school.
Students were not in danger during the lockdown, Dunn said.
It started as a soft lockdown and the school allowed students who had left the building for lunch back in.
But later in the afternoon the response became a hard lockdown, school board President Sue Grey confirmed. Jeanne Smith, administrative assistant for achievement and pupil services, said classroom doors were locked and those coming back from lunch were not allowed in.
The staff let students out early, with buses arriving about 2:30 p.m. Friday, but Smith said parents were warned that dismissal would take longer than usual, as students were being let out one door.