Man in custody, two air rifles recovered during lockdown at JFK - Western Mass News - WGGB/WSHM

Man in custody, two air rifles recovered during lockdown at JFK Middle School in Northampton

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State Police were seen at JFK Middle School in Northampton on Thurs. Jun 7, 2018 (Western Mass News photo) State Police were seen at JFK Middle School in Northampton on Thurs. Jun 7, 2018 (Western Mass News photo)
NORTHAMPTON, MA (WGGB/WSHM) -

A scary situation unfolded Thursday afternoon for students and parents of one Northampton school. 

JFK Middle School went into lock down after someone brought guns onto the property. 

Northampton Police Chief Jody Kasper said an officer responded to the scene within a minute, and is praising her department and school leaders for their swift response.

Frantic parents rushed to the school to make sure their children were ok. 

The school was on lock down after police said a man brought two air rifles onto school grounds.

Investigators said a staff member alerted police about the man, who was sitting on the ground next to his car, which was backed into a parking space with the trunk open.

Police recovered the air rifles and took him into custody.

One young girl said she was in the middle of a quiz and her classmates began to worry they'd fail, the teacher told them the quiz was the least of their worries. 

"It's still scary thinking your kids have to go to school with this fear and they have nightmares and its terrifying. I never had to do this growing up," said one Northampton parent. 

Chief Kasper said an officer arrived at the school within seconds.

"The first officer on scene was there in about 50 or 52 seconds when it was dispatched, so we're really lucky to have an officer who was close by and who immediately identified the subject," she said. 

School officials said dismissal was delayed and many buses were late while police wrapped up their investigation.

The last of the buses pulled out of the school by 4:15 p.m.

No word yet on the charges that the man who was taken into custody may face.

Chief Kasper said this situation was a prime example of what the department and schools train for.
 
"In this situation, it was the preparation with the lock down drills that probably was the most beneficial  for being able to respond to this insuring that the school was locked immediately and anything was locked and in place," she noted. 

There were dozens of police cruisers on-scene and crowds of parents arrived to pick up their children. 

No word yet on the charges that the man who was taken into custody may face.

Police are not saying if there was any connection between the man and the school.

Chief Kasper said she can't say whether there will be an increased police presence tomorrow morning but assures parents and students, the school is safe.

No injuries were reported.

Western Mass News will continue to follow this story and will have more information as it becomes available.

Copyright 2018 Western Mass News (Meredith Corporation).  All rights reserved.

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