A lot of anxious parents in Chicopee packed the entrance of Chicopee Comprehensive High School after a police lockdown for what turned out to be a fake report of a suspicious person.
The Lambert Lavoie School on Kendall Street was where parents and students were reunited after a lockdown. Hundreds of parents were in the area earlier but most families have been reunited.
Chicopee police spokesman officer Mike Wilk told 22News one person is facing charges after their claims of a suspicious person in the building, triggered a school-wide lockdown, leaving students and parents fearing the worst.
Police have not released the identity of the person responsible for the hoax.
With less than 20 minutes left in the first day of school for most students, Chicopee Comprehensive H.S. was placed on lockdown Friday.
Chicopee police descended on the school, and robocalls and word of mouth sent parents racing to the high school eager to collect their kids.
“I got a phone call from my brother, saying that the school is on lockdown,” said Michael Lopez, a parent. “I rushed over to the school, just running around. It was kind of hectic listening to the parents, people had different stories. There was a shooting, there was this, there was that. It was just really hectic waiting for her.”
Inside, students sheltered in place, waiting for police to go room by room to release them.
22News spoke to a Chicopee Comprehensive high school soccer coach who rushed to the school after hearing the school went into lock down.
“When we got out, people looked at us because we had the comp gear on and they thought we worked here and we do, but we didn’t know anything more than they did, there was a lot of parents wondering what was going on and I completely understand why because they love their kids,” said Erich Leaper.
Officer Wilk said Chicopee Police and State Police were assisting to clear the building. Wilk stressed that there was no danger to students.
Freshmen started classes earlier this week, but Friday was the first day of class for many of the students.
“It took them like an hour, and then the cops came in, and they said everyone needs to get up and hands up, so we put our hands up and then we came to Lambert Lavoie,” said Alexis Karpolyuk, a sophomore at the high school.
There never was a suspicious person. Police determined it was a hoax. Students were cleared from their classrooms, and hundreds of parents waited at Lambert Lavoie school to be reunited with their kids
“It was very refreshing because everyone was so scared and running around,” said Alexis Karpolyuk, a Chicopee Comp. student. “They couldn’t find their parents, and you needed your parents to leave the school.”
Bus students were released first, then parents were let into the school in small groups to find their kids.
“My class for about two hours, with just announcements over the intercom being our only form of communication,” said Meghan Kalbaugh, a senior at the high school. “It was so good, I’m just so glad that I’m okay and she’s okay, and getting to run to her.”
Students and staff were allowed inside Chicopee Comp. in groups to get their belongings until 10 p.m. The same will happen from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday.