Washington state school district cancels classes after reports of gunman

Reuters News
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Posted: Jan 07, 2015 12:37 PM

SEATTLE (Reuters) - A lockdown was lifted at a Washington state school district near Seattle on Wednesday but authorities canceled classes and were sending students home after reports of an armed man on the campus of an elementary school, the King County Sheriff said.

Police searched all schools in the Shoreline School District and were continuing to canvas a swath of the city of Shoreline, a Seattle suburb, after witnesses called in reports of a man dressed in a dark hooded sweatshirt and camouflage pants and brandishing a firearm, the sheriff's office said.

The man was first seen on the campus of an elementary school around 8 a.m., officials said.

Students on their way to school were told to return home, while those already at school were held in place for about two hours while police scoured the buildings, law enforcement and the district said.

"The lockdown has been lifted at all Shoreline Schools," the district said in a statement. "All students are safe," it said.

Students were being released to their parents or cleared to leave campus in their own transportation while under police monitoring, the district said. No student would be permitted to walk home, it said.

Authorities said the investigation was continuing and there was no report of an arrest. It was unclear whether the schools would be closed again on Thursday.

The Shoreline School District has more than a dozen schools with a total enrollment of over 8,000 students, its website said.

(Reporting by Victoria Cavaliere; Editing by Cynthia Johnston and James Dalgleish)