Santa Fe High, Milagro Middle and Early College Opportunities High schools were placed on lockdown Tuesday afternoon after a threat at Santa Fe High, and at least one student was taken into police custody, district spokesman David Carl said.
Officers responded to a call of a man on campus with a gun, and upon arriving at Santa Fe High, police learned the man might be at Milagro Middle School, which is less than a mile away, Santa Fe police spokesman Greg Gurulé said.
All three schools were still on lockdown at 4 p.m. even though Santa Fe police had indicated the threat was a hoax. By 4:30 p.m., lockdowns at Santa Fe High and Early College Opportunities had been lifted. Around 5 p.m., police finished sweeping Milagro Middle School, Carl said. Tuesday was the last day of classes before Thanksgiving break.
Parent Eric Armijo said he went to Santa Fe High to pick up his son and daughter when he saw a swarm of police vehicles with flashing lights on campus. Images of mass shootings on school campuses nationwide immediately flashed through his head.
“You think of all the other things that you’ve seen at schools and pray for the best,” said Armijo, 41, who urgently texted his children to make sure they were safe.
Moments after he arrived at the school, Armijo said he received a robocall from the school district informing him the threat was believed to be a hoax, which eased his worries.
“The stress that these [students] have to go through just going to school is not right,” he said. “It sucks, but what can you do?”
Armijo, who graduated from Santa Fe High in 1996, said he never worried about school shootings when he was a student.
“I feel for these kids,” he said as he waited in his gray minivan outside the school for the lockdown to be lifted. “How are you supposed to focus and study when you have that in the back of your mind? It’s just a scary feeling to know your kids are in there, and you never know what could happen.”
Though the threat turned out to be a hoax, Armijo said he always tells his children to be vigilant and alert officials if they see or hear something out of the ordinary.
“You never know,” he said. “You might save someone’s life, including your own.”