Live ammo found in middle school restroom prompts lockdown

Posted at 2:31 PM, Feb 17, 2018
and last updated 2018-02-17 14:31:22-05

WOONSOCKET, R.I. (AP) — Live ammunition was discovered by a custodian in a Rhode Island middle school boys' restroom, prompting a lockdown, police said.

Woonsocket Middle School at Hamlet, located outside of Providence, was put on lockdown Friday afternoon after the discovery. Woonsocket Police Chief Thomas F. Oates III said a custodian was checking the restroom around school dismissal time when she found small-caliber ammunition and brought it to the principal's office.

Several news outlets reported that around the same time, a 14-year-old girl said she saw a possible shooter but later recanted her story. The Providence Journal reported the girl was overheard by a teacher saying she saw someone on a footbridge reaching into a backpack. That also prompted the lockdown.

Oates estimated there were fewer than 50 people inside the school during the lockdown.

Officers could be seen around the school, including on the roof, wearing tactical gear and with their guns drawn.

"We did not find any weapons in the school. We did not find any weapons on anyone else," Oates told WPRI-TV.

A parent, Laura Beauregard, told the television station she learned about the lockdown on social media and drove to the school, where her daughter was attending a photography club meeting.

"With just what happened in Florida, they were really scared," said Beauregard, referring to Wednesday's mass shooting a Florida high school that left 17 people dead.

Oates said officers questioned the student who made the comment about a possible shooter and will determine whether she should be charged with a crime. Police are also still investigating who brought the bullets into the school.