Desert Vista lock-down ends - Ahwatukee Foothills News: Localnews

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Desert Vista lock-down ends

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Posted: Wednesday, November 25, 2009 12:00 am

Desert Vista High School was under lock-down for more than an hour Tuesday morning after a phoned-in threat.

According to Phoenix police, the unidentified caller said he could see students on the athletic fields and threatened to shoot.

He gave the school four minutes to get the students under cover.

School security staff quickly cleared the field and placed students in lock-down inside the school at 16440 S. 32nd St.

No one was injured in the lock-down and no shots were fired during the incident.

Desert Vista senior Eric Sansam was in class when the lock-down was announced.

“We just stayed there quiet, with the lights off,” Sansam said.

Off the campus, Sara Woodmansee was turned away from the school when she tried to pick up her son, who was scheduled to have his braces removed.

She joined other parents waiting outside the school, who were trying to find out what was happening.

According to Cynthia Garcia, her son sent a text message saying, “Mom something’s going on. We’re on lock-down.” Later he sent a follow-up message saying, “They say it’s a bomb. I love you.”

Using texting and social networking students quickly spread the word that something was happening at the school.

“My daughter’s at home and read about it on Facebook,” Craig Coogins said.

Phoenix police officers flooded the area, searching around the campus with the assistance of a police helicopter, as well as the interior of the school buildings.

“We take nothing lightly. We’re about kids and safety” said Principal Anna Battle, who also complimented the police.

Sgt. Frank Matsko also complimented the school on its quick response.

“They took it seriously and we took it seriously,” Matsko said.

Police presence in the area was still high after students were released from lock-down around 10:45 a.m. and investigators continue to search out information on the anonymous caller.

“We will prosecute them to the full extent of the law,” Matsko said.

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