Weapon still not found after lockdown at Coloma Junior High School
COLOMA, MI. --- A weapon reported on school property, left Coloma Junior High School on an all-day lockdown.
The Berrien County Sheriff's Department and Coloma Township Police worked to find the weapon, reportedly brought in by a middle schooler.
ABC57 News was the only media on scene, as parents waited anxiously in the parking lot, to hear if their kids were okay.
"I freaked out a little bit. Started crying. This can't happen to us," says Brandy Anglin.
Anglin, and other parents of Coloma Junior and High School students, received an automated message Monday morning.
A message they never thought they'd get.
"It said that both schools were on lockdown, about a gun," explains Anglin. "A weapon at the school."
She joined other parents in the parking lot, camping out for information.
Their children remained locked inside the school.
Parents are not happy with the way the school district handled the incident.
They say, they shouldn't have had to wait five hours after the initial alert of the lockdown, to hear from the school.
"I feel like it could have been handled a lot better...[we] were asking if the kids were okay or anything, and nothing," says Anglin. "I'm sorry, I can't answer no questions."
But Anglin's biggest worry, is that she believes, they weren't adequately prepared to handle this type of serious situation.
"They didn't know what to do today. Kids were freaked out, screaming, crying, hiding under desks. Teach them what to do," she adds.
Officials still have not said what weapon law enforcement was searching for.
Several students told school staff, they saw one of their classmates with a gun.
The student in question was detained for questioning.
"You see it on TV all of the time and everything else. It's not something that's supposed to happen to us," she says.
Officers surrounded the school, evening bringing a K-9 on property, to help with the search.
Anglin's only thought was her daughter's safety.
"I get a random message saying, 'Hi Mom, it's Stormie. I'm okay. I love you. Don't freak out," says Anglin. "[Just] knowing she was okay."
"I was scared out of my mind, so I used one of the 6th grader's phones to get in contact with my mom," explains Anglin's daughter, Stormie.
Stormie is a 7th grader at the school and says, she didn't know what was going on at first.
"The announcement came on and said it was a drill and stuff," she recalls. "We got in the band room and our teacher made sure the doors were locked."
But then she heard that one of her classmates, brought a weapon to school.
"You could have hurt people and that's not cool," Stormie says. "These people have lives."
The school day ended with an important reminder to members of the Coloma community - life is precious.
"I'm probably going to hug her and not let her go," says Anglin.
After school let out, parents received another automated message from the school, saying that after school activities would continue as normal.
Parents were informed that law enforcement would continue to search the grounds after hours, and that Tuesday would be a normal school day.