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Ten Maine Schools Are In Lockdown Due To Active Shooter Hoaxes

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Ten Maine Schools Are In Lockdown Due To Active Shooter Hoaxes

(CTN News) – The Maine State Police responded to reports of active Maine Schools shootings in 10 schools Tuesday.

Maine State Police confirmed multiple active shooter threats at schools around the state – all believed to be hoaxes, said Commissioner Mike Sauschuck, commissioner of the Department of Public Safety.

Superintendents and local law enforcement should have an opportunity to address the situations at these schools, he said.

It was an “inhumane and callous act” that was committed against Maine children and communities, Sauschuck said.

Public statements and official social media posts reported threats at Sanford, Portland, Brunswick, Ellsworth and Gardiner Area high Maine Schools, as well as Oceanside High School in Rockland. Located in the Bangor area and down east, Sauschuck said the calls are clustered in southern Maine.

A report that a person with a “long gun” was in the school in Sanford resulted in students and teachers locking themselves in classrooms as first responders from multiple agencies descended on the school. After police searched the building and evacuated students, the Sanford School Department notified parents that the active shooter threat was unfounded and that no one was injured.

At 10 a.m., students were still being evacuated from the school while police searched the building room by room. A bus took them to Memorial Gym in Sanford, where hundreds of parents lined Main Street waiting for their children to be released.

Soon after the Maine Schools was put on lockdown, parents posted on a Facebook group for city residents that they had heard from their children. Five people were reported to have been shot, according to rumor. There have been no reports of injuries from law enforcement.

Because of social media and cellphones, information gets spread – and is often manipulated,” said Sanford Police Lt. Matthew Gagne.

In a desperate attempt to communicate, parents held their cellphones to their ears and tapped out text messages.

Nyria Bicens, 36, has insisted for years that her daughter keep her cellphone with her during the school day. When the news spread Tuesday, Bicens felt a sinking feeling of panic.

Her daughter’s message was alarming but reassuring: “everything is fine, the police are here.” However, the school has been put on lockdown.”

“I moved to Maine Schools 12 years ago from the Bronx, where 9/11 occurred when I was in high school,” said Bicens. My kids needed to know they could reach me in case something crazy happened. This was not what I expected in Maine.”

There was a panic attack for more than 30 minutes for Camille Noldan, 43, of Wells. She received a message from her daughter, a student at the district’s technical school, stating “there is an active shooter in the building.”

She said she rushed to Maine Schools.

She said, “I could see all the police.” There was a moment when she broke down.

When Noldan called Wells High School, their home district, she was told the same thing: Sanford had an active shooter.

Noldan said there was no real protocol.

Soon, she and her husband lined up outside the gym, and by 10:45 a.m., police officers and Maine Schools  staff were announcing the plan. There was a request for patience from the school staff.

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