PALM BEACH COUNTY, Fla. — Palm Beach County deputies responded to Berkshire Elementary School on Monday afternoon and blocked off part of the campus with crime scene tape.
The School District of Palm Beach County said the school, located at 1060 South Kirk Road, was placed on a code-red lockdown about 2 p.m. because the Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office was serving a warrant in the area.
The school district said no shots were fired on campus, and the school was no longer on lockdown.
"The School District of Palm Beach County has no evidence that shots were fired in the vicinity of the school," the district said in a written statement to WPTV. "The school was placed on a precautionary lockdown because of law enforcement activity in the community away from the campus. All students and staff were safe. The school was given the all clear within minutes of the lockdown being called."
Teri Barbera, a spokeswoman for the sheriff's office, said there was no shooting and deputies were attempting to locate an individual nearby.
A WPTV news crew at the scene spotted several PBSO cruisers outside the school, along with school district police officers and a Palm Beach County Fire Rescue ladder truck. In addition, part of a courtyard on campus was blocked off with yellow crime scene tape.
The tape was eventually taken down by 3:30 p.m.
Palm Beach County Fire Rescue said crews were dispatched to the 1000 block of Kirk Road between Chukker Drive and Collin Drive about 2:15 p.m. for reports of a shooting.
However, those crews were cleared about 10 minutes later after being told there was no shooting and no one was hurt.
"Everybody literally started running toward the school, jumping the fence, screaming, screaming, screaming," said parent Lazara Font. "And everybody started panicking, yelling, like there was a shooting going on."
Font described the lockdown as a "frantic scene" as concerned parents raced to get their kids from the school after rumors started circulating that something had happened inside the school.
"I ran and I hid behind one of the cars and I called 911," Font said. "And then the cops all came and they just swarmed the school. They were telling us, calm down, calm down, there's no active shooting, there's no active shooting."
Students said a code red lockdown announcement came over the school's intercom system and children were moved to another part of the building.
"It was just a code red, and then we were all hiding. And then I heard police sirens," said fifth grade student Jonas Velez.
A code red lockdown — which means nobody can come in or out of any buildings on campus — can be initiated by a Palm Beach County school itself, the school district's police department, or by an outside law enforcement agency.