False alarm puts Wilson Elementary on brief lockdown

Wilson Elementary was briefly placed on lockdown Monday afternoon after several teachers were alerted by the sound of fireworks that they mistook for gunshots.

Teachers heard what they thought was gunfire shortly before 3 p.m. as kindergarten students were being dismissed for the day, according to Rapid City Area Schools spokeswoman Katy Urban. They then directed their students back inside and alerted Wilson administrators. 

Urban said that school Principal Bradley Chaney was outside at the time the lockdown was initiated and quickly determined the source of the noise to be fireworks that were being set off nearby. The lockdown lasted for about 5 minutes, she said.

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The school was locked down using the the ALICE method, a common public school procedure used that stands for alert, lockdown, inform, counter and evacuate.

"We’re really proud of our staff," Urban said Monday. "They recognized that something didn’t sound right and they responded immediately. That’s exactly what they’re trained to do."

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