Update: Reports of an ax wielding suspect this morning at Meridian’s Heritage Middle School have turned out to be wrong, and a subsequent lockdown has ended. Meridian police confirm a student brought a folding shovel to school, setting off the scare.
A Heritage staff member called Meridian police shortly before 9:00 to report a teenager with an ax walking through the school foyer. Officers began a room-by-room search of the building and reviewed security footage. Meridian PD spokesman Deputy Chief Tracy Basterrechea says the footage revealed the object in question was a shovel and not an ax. With the video, officers also identified the student. Basterrechea says the student brought the shovel to use as a prop in a class project.
Roads near the school were closed. Parents were sent to a nearby church to wait for information. Basterrechea says hundreds of anxious parents gathered there. He adds that many had heard rumors of a gunman in the school. At about 10:45 police told those waiting at the church there was no weapon in the school and students were safe.
The lockdown ended around 11:00 and at 11:30 parents were allowed to pick up their students. Basterrechea says many parents decided to take their kids home for the day.