An Eastview Middle School student says she spotted a handgun while in lockdown Tuesday afternoon.
An RCMP spokesperson confirmed there was a report of a weapon at the 40 Avenue school, but did not specify what type of weapon was reported.
“There’s three (people) that I could see,” the student told the Advocate, after hugging her family following the ordeal.
The student, who the Advocate has agreed not to identify, said she believes the lockdown was the result of a fight that was sparked by a skirmish on Monday.
“There was this big fight (Monday), and some of the guys who came to (Eastview) school got beat up quite badly, and (some of) the kids in our school were part of that fight.
“So the kids from the other school came to this school to come jump them, like, beat them up,” the student said, adding she was scared and in lockdown for about an hour and a half.
Red Deer parent Rachelle Bonin also said the lockdown was a result of a follow-up fight.
“My son’s best friend just came out and he said a bunch of kids from another school tried to jump students (at Eastview Middle School),” said Bonin.
Students were dismissed classroom by classroom during the lockdown, which lasted about two and a half hours. Hundreds of parents and bystanders waited outside.
Authorities said approximately 600 students attend the school and that no one was hurt.
One parent said the scene was like something outside of a U.S. school.
Heather Wright said she was “terrified” as she waited for her Grade 6 child to come out safely.
“I was here 3:15 p.m.,” said Wright. “I got word that they were in lockdown, and it was not a drill. And within minutes, I saw a swarm of police activity, cars out front, all around, labelled police cars around everywhere.
“I saw about 10 police officers with their rifles and bullet-proof vests.
“It looks like a scene from U.S.A. Never thought this would be in Red Deer,” said Wright.
Like hundreds of parents, Cindy Cotnoir was waiting for her son, who was not answering calls or texts, to emerge from the school.
She said she works in the school system and knows lockdowns are a serious matter.
“Cars came in ablazing, it’s pretty scary,” Cotnoir said as she waited.
Wright said she was impressed with the RCMP’s response to the incident.
“It’s just amazing how quickly the response was from the police officers in this city. It wasn’t a minor, they put all forces in there. Very proud to know your children are being protected to the best they can,” Wright said.
Red Deer Public School Division sent out mass texts and emails to parents informing them of updates, such as the safety of students and how they were going to be released from school.