AUSTIN (KXAN) — A lockdown at Akins Early College High School in south Austin was de-escalated to a hold Wednesday after a report that three students had a handgun inside a bathroom.
The school reported students and staff remained safe, and the three students involved were identified and located. Austin ISD reported no shots were fired, and officers never found a gun.
However, police said they found two ammunition magazines on one of the students in question. The district’s police chief, Ashley Gonzalez, said those three students will not return to campus Thursday and would not share more about what potential punishments or charges they may face.
“We talk about ‘see something, say something,’” Gonzalez said during a media briefing. “Something was seen that triggered this response, and we were able to act quickly.”
Austin Independent School District Police enacted a lockdown immediately after learning of the report just before 10 a.m. According to district police, a “lockdown” is a drill intended to train staff and students to stay behind a locked door, shut off lights, remain seated, remain quiet and out of sight in case of a threat inside the school.
Meanwhile, a “hold” drill is intended to train students and staff to stay where they are and go on with business as usual. A “hold” will usually be called to clear hallways for any medical emergencies or similar needs, Austin ISD says.
Cynthia Lopez, an Akins parent with two students at the school, said she immediately made her way to the campus when she found out what was happening.
“I [received] messages from the school saying not to come up here,” Lopez said. “But how could you not come up here with your kid being in danger?”
In the middle of her interview with KXAN, Lopez received an automated phone call from the district saying the suspects had been detained.
Austin ISD Police said the incident is still being investigated. The students will not be returning to school tomorrow.
Previous incidents at Akins
Back in October, a fight between two Akins students ended with one of the kids stabbing the other with a knife. The student who was injured was taken to the hospital, the other was taken into custody.
In 2018, Akins student Eduardo Mercado-Del Valle, then 17, was arrested after showing up to campus with a handgun. He was charged with unlawful possession of a weapon and no one was hurt.
Written by Russell Falcon, Will DuPree, Daniel Marin
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