Highland Park, News

5 students in custody following lockdown for report of gun at Highland Park High School

A report of a student with a gun prompted a two-hour lockdown of Highland Park High School Tuesday morning, April 4.

Local authorities reported no gunshots or injuries but five students were in custody as of 12:38 p.m. according to a release from the City of Highland Park. It is not clear why the students were apprehended or what, if any, charges are under consideration. The City said no further information was available by press time.

Highland Park Mayor Nancy Rotering released a statement thanking first-responders and school district officials, while expressing disappointment over the need for another statement related to gun violence.

“While we were so relieved that the event ended without incident, once again, our community was terrorized by the threat of gun violence,” she said in the statement. “… We must continue to work towards a time when we can live free from the threat of gun violence. Those who can, need to take action now, so that our students can go to school without fear of random gun violence.

“Wherever and whenever they occur, every lockdown, every drill takes a toll on our children and our communities.”

Beatriz Cruz hugs HPHS junior Samuel Desirena after he was let out of the school following the lockdown.

At least two Highland Park High School students reported to school officials Tuesday morning that a classmate was in possession of a firearm at the school, said Township High School District 113 Superintendent Dr. Bruce Law wrote in a message to families.

Law said that the individual who allegedly had the gun left the school with another student some time after 10:45 a.m, but the high school was placed on lockdown. Other public buildings — such as City of Highland Park, North Shore District 112, Deerfield High School, Park District of Highland Park and Highland Park Library facilities — were also locked down, the City reported.

All of the HPHS’s after-school activities planned for Tuesday, April 4, at the high school are canceled, according to the school’s website.

Glencoe School District 35 and Glencoe Park District buildings were also under a soft lockdown Tuesday, and Glencoe Public safety temporarily increased patrols, the Village of Glencoe said in a release.

Parents gathered around the high school — some in cars lined up for blocks down Vine Avenue and others standing in a wind-chilled rain awaiting updates and a student release.

Police reported at 12:05 p.m. that there was no active threat to the school. The lockdown ended at 12:25 p.m., and students began to file out of the school’s front doors, striding past law enforcement professionals armed with semi-automatic weapons. Many wound up in the arms of relieved family members.

Students walk past police officers on their way out of school Tuesday, April 4.

The lockdown was initiated about an hour after students engaged in a walkout to protest gun violence and in solidarity with students across the Nashville area, where a school shooting occurred on Monday, March 27.

The walkout was set for 10:14 a.m., the moment of gunshots at the Highland Park Fourth of July parade in 2022.

Stay tuned as this story develops.

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joe coughlin
Joe Coughlin

Joe Coughlin is a co-founder and the editor in chief of The Record. He leads investigative reporting and reports on anything else needed. Joe has been recognized for his investigative reporting and sports reporting, feature writing and photojournalism. Follow Joe on Twitter @joec2319

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