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May 03, 2013 05:43 PM

Students 'Shelter In Place' For Man With Pool Cue

Sioux Falls, SD

One person thought it was a rifle but it turned out to be a pool cue.

The report of a man carrying a rifle on his back came in around 8 a.m. Friday morning.

It's a report that caused four central Sioux Falls schools to lock the doors and led a dozen police officers to canvass the neighborhood around 38th Street and Phillips Avenue. That part of town is right by the Sioux Falls School District headquarters and Robert Frost Elementary School.
    
"When I got here I noticed there was a police car out front and a policeman at the door," parent Julia Bitz said.

Officers greeted parents and students after doors were locked at Robert Frost Elementary and three other schools in the area. The schools were not under a lockdown but were under a shelter-in-place order.

Bitz was inside Robert Frost at the time.

"The principal told us there was a person they were looking for in the area and that they were keeping all the outside doors locked until they found him," Bitz said.

"School learning continues to happen but the outside doors of the building are all locked down. Kids do not leave the building and individuals are not allowed into the building until they are cleared first," Todd Vik with the Sioux Falls School District said as he explained the shelter-in-place order.

After police canvassed the area for about an hour they found out the person who was reported to have a rifle may have just been a man with a pool cue in a case.

"They check the immediate area they're going door to door basically just to look and see if there's anybody else who happened to see this," Sam Clemens with the Sioux Falls Police Department said.

Early Friday afternoon police confirmed that the individual did in fact have a pool cue.

After the school was given the all clear students were allowed outside for recess; something that wouldn't have happened if the shelter-in-place order was still in place.

"This is an alternative for when there is an external, a possible external threat, as opposed to a lockdown when there is an internal threat," Vik said.

Bitz is glad the situation didn't end up being serious and she is glad there is a procedure that allows students to learn while still staying safe.

"I think it's good to have something a little less restrictive than the lockdown," Bitz said.

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