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Found ammunition shells trigger lockout at Niagara-Wheatfield High School

Fri, Jan 8th 2016 02:35 pm

By Lauren Zaepfel

Tribune Editor

A Niagara-Wheatfield High School student reported to administration at 2:45 p.m. Thursday he found empty ammunition shell casings on his vehicle in the school parking lot.

"At that point, we simultaneously contacted the Lewiston Police Department and also went into what's called a 'lockout,' " Niagara-Wheatfield Central School Superintendent Daniel G. Ljiljanich said.

He described a lockout as "business as usual on the inside of the building, but every door is locked - double-checked that it's locked - so that nobody can get in because of the potential threat."

He said there was no eminent threat, but "the potential threat was outside the building. So that's why we went into a lockout."

After arriving at the scene, Lewiston Police Chief Frank Previte said he and his officers collected some of the evidence that was found on the vehicle.

"At that time, our concern was for any other situation that might be present," he said.

Both Ljiljanich and law enforcement decided the building was to be searched inside, as well as around its perimeter, to ensure the area was safe and secure. K-9s were involved in the search.

"At no time did it appear there was any threat to anybody inside of the building or anybody that was there," Previte said. "To be cautious, we made sure there was no danger to anybody that was on the property as far as in the school or in the parking lot, and then we tried to facilitate them getting home."

Most of the individuals within the building at that time were staff members and students who were partaking in co-curricular activities. The investigation began after student dismissal.

"This, as far as we know, was just an isolated event," Ljiljanich said.

"We don't believe at any time ... during that incident that any of the kids or faculty, anybody in the building, was in any danger," Previte said.

Ljiljanich said the school district worked with law enforcement officers on Friday, including those of the Lewiston Police Department, the Niagara County Sheriff's Office and New York State Police.

"We had an increased presence today, all day at the schools. But with the information that we have at that point, that will probably be all that we do unless something else is uncovered in the investigation," Ljiljanich said.

Currently, the investigation is ongoing both within the school district and with law enforcement.

"If anybody gets any leads, please contact us," Previte said.

Contact the LPD at 716-754-8477.

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