Wilmette police officers were called to Wilmette Junior High Friday afternoon when “spent firearm cartridges” were found behind the school building, according to a letter Wilmette District 39 officials emailed to parents.
According to the email, at approximately 12:45 p.m. on Aug. 25 several of the school’s students told staff members about the cartridges, and the Wilmette Police Department was alerted.
Police Chief Kyle Murphy said police recovered four discharged .380 cartridges — ammunition commonly fired from a pistol — from the blacktop area to the east of the school, 620 Locust Road, which abuts Community Playfield.
Murphy said an investigation has found no evidence of a threat to the school and police believe the casings may have been discarded, whether purposefully or accidentally.
He said the school temporarily will have a heavier police presence, but “there is no indication whatsoever that this has anything to do with any school.”
“There were reports of any gunshots, fireworks, loud reports or anything,” Murphy said. “It is very hard to ascertain the length of time they were in that … area. It could be recent or several months. There have been no threats; nothing like that exists.”
The email from D39 states that students and staff were “safe at all times while WPD was investigating,” and District 39 Communications Director Leo Krause said the school was not in lockdown or closed at any point.
After responding to the scene, the WPD informed WJH officials within 90 minutes that it was safe to finish the school day.
“We are grateful that our students recognized today’s situation and immediately communicated with our staff,” the D39 email reads. “We are also extremely proud of our close partnership with the Wilmette Police Department, and we appreciate their quick response in support of our school community.”
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