Student with hammer, 2nd incident prompt lockdown at New Jersey high school

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Monday, February 3, 2020
Student with hammer, 2nd incident prompt lockdown at New Jersey high school
Anthony Johnson reports on the school scare in New Jersey.

UNION, New Jersey (WABC) -- A New Jersey high school was placed on lockdown after two separate incidents Friday, creating a terrifying situation for students and parents alike.

Those parents converged on Union High School on North 3rd Street in Union hoping to pick up their children, but they were greeted with more questions than answers as they waited for police to clear the building before students were dismissed.

Authorities say it started when an 18-year-old student showed up at school with a hammer, apparently after an argument with another student in previous days.

The hammer was confiscated and the student was arrested, and no injuries were reported.

There was a second incident around 11 a.m. that prompted the further lockdown, but at this point, authorities are not releasing any information while they investigate.

"There were two lockdowns today, the two lockdowns are unrelated," Acting Union County Prosecutor Lyndsay Ruotolo said. "There was an adult who was arrested this morning and removed from the premises before the second lockdown."

Officials confirmed there was no stabbing or shooting, and no students were injured, only that there was an incident secondary to the student bringing the hammer to school

But that was no consolation to parents, many of whom waited outside for hours after receiving harrowing text messages from their children.

"It's a parent's worst nightmare, getting a text from your daughter telling you that she loves you, and she's scared and she's shaking," one parent said. "It's like the text you never want to get from your kid."

Officials said the school was placed in lockdown out of an abundance of caution and then downgraded to a modified lockdown.

To ensure the safety of staff and students, they said, a room by room search was initiated before the lockdown was lifted around 3:30 p.m.

The students were released to their parents, and many of them could be seen hugging outside the building.


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