Capitol Hill High School locked down

Wednesday, October 1st 2008, 3:17 pm
By: News 9

By Rusty Surette, NEWS 9

OKLAHOMA CITY -- Administrators at an Oklahoma City High school defended Wednesday how they reacted to a potential threat near campus.

Several Capitol Hill High School students said just before classes started Wednesday morning they saw another student with a handgun near the campus.

At an impromptu news conference, Capitol Hill High School's principal Ron Maxfield said he put his school on lock down after a group of students witnessed another student with a gun.

"The young lady reported that it was some kind of a gun," Maxfield said. "It was in his waistband."

The incident happened on Walker Street, near the high school campus.

What happened after that is still unclear, due to differing timelines.

At the news conference, Maxfield said the students saw the gun just before classes started and immediately notified an on-campus police officer sometime around 7:40 a.m. and 8:00 a.m.

Maxfield said he wasn't notified until 11:11 a.m. of the situation, which is when he ordered the lock down.

"The lock down began 12:30," Maxfield said.

It was almost a five-hour delay from the time the gun was spotted to the lock down of the school, which prompted questions of the cause of the delay.

"It's a response in terms of putting together a plan to try and determined what we should do," Maxfield said.

After the news conference, a school spokeswoman said the timeline was different, reporting the girls who witnessed the person carrying the gun did not inform the on-campus officer until 11:00 a.m., which was almost three hours after they saw the weapon.

Oklahoma City Police dispatchers said they didn't assign the officer to the situation until 1:43 p.m., which was almost six hours after the gun was spotted.

Authorities are still trying to identify the student with the gun. No weapons were found on campus, but the school may remain on lock down Thursday.