“Gangster” argument on social media resulted in school lockdown

Print Article

A 17-year-old male who posed with what appeared to be a gun on social media forced a lockdown at Ruder Elementary School Tuesday afternoon.

The male, who was known to police prior to the incident, had been going back and forth with an individual who lived out of state about being a “gangster” in Montana, Columbia Falls Police Sgt. Sean Murphy explained.

The out-of-state person claimed there were no gangsters in Montana. The conversation escalated and the 17-year-old said they should settle the matter in the school parking lot, Murphy explained.

The out-of-state person then notified police.

The teen lives near Ruder, Murphy said and police made contact with him and his guardians. He does not attend school in Columbia Falls.

There was no threat to the school and the gun was an apparently airsoft gun — an airgun that, depending on the model, looks a lot like real weapon. Police found no weapons, Murphy said.

The case has since been referred to the county attorney’s office. The teen’s name was not released.

The school was on a “soft lockdown” from 2:15 p.m. to 3:25 p.m. while police sorted out the matter and patrolled the school.

During the lockdown, students remained in their classrooms as the school day continued. Police patrolled the building until dismissal and students were safely on buses, Superintendent Steve Bradshaw said.

“We try not to scare kids,” Bradshaw said. He noted that no one was on the playground at the time, but he did accompany a class from the gym, which is located in a separate building back to the main school building.

The district alerted families to the situation through automated messages after school let out. Bradshaw said the decision on when to alert families is done on a case-by-case basis. In this instance, Bradshaw said there were concerns that alerting families earlier would create a larger issue for police and people’s personal safety if too many people congregated in the parking lot.

“We felt there was more danger in alerting parents too early in case someone did show up in the parking lot with a gun,” Bradshaw said.

Print Article

Read More Front Page Slider

LC Staffing opens office in Columbia Falls

March 20, 2019 at 7:09 am | Hungry Horse News Those seeking employment in the area now have a new resource as LC Staffing has opened its newest location in downtown Columbia Falls. Located at the corner of Nucleus Avenue and 7th Street West, th...

Comments

Read More

The average reduction in Glacier’s glaciers? 39 percent, study shows

March 20, 2019 at 7:02 am | Hungry Horse News Glaciers are melting as a result of climate change, that most can agree on. However, how fast they melt remains to be seen and will likely be impacted by how society reacts to climate change. Erich...

Comments

Read More

Yep, it’s chick season, but please don’t kiss the birds

March 20, 2019 at 6:56 am | Hungry Horse News With virtually every feed store in the valley selling live chicks, the state Department of Health and Human Services and the Department of Livestock is again reminding folks that birds can carry illn...

Comments

Read More

In Glacier, one way to conserve native fish is to move them

March 20, 2019 at 6:53 am | Hungry Horse News The bad news about trout and their brethren is about 73 percent of the species worldwide are threatened with extinction. The good news is Crown of the Continent region and the Flathead in particular...

Comments

Read More

Contact Us

(406) 892-2151
PO BOX 189, 926 Nucleus Avenue
Columbia Falls, MT 59912

©2019 Hungry Horse News Terms of Use Privacy Policy
X
X