Law enforcement responded to a report of an active shooter at Hawkins Middle School in Belfair Wednesday morning that turned out to be false.
“Fortunately it was not real – not legitimate,” Mason County Sheriff’s Office Chief Deputy Ryan Spurling told MasonWebTV Powered by HCC. “So it turned out to be a very good exercise.”
Spurling said the calls starting coming in around 11:30 AM with a report of a North Mason High School student possibly having a firearm. Deputies were already at the High School (which is adjacent to Hawkins Middle School) investigating a fight and when they responded to the firearm report, things started to “spiral.”
“Kids started sending texts,” Spurling explained, “and some how it went from that (firearm investigation) to two people reporting there was an active shooter in the Middle School.”
When the active shooter report came through, the Deputies at the High School ran to the Middle School and did an initial clearing but didn’t find anything. Meanwhile, the three schools in the area (Hawkins Middle School, North Mason High School and the District’s alternative school: James A. Taylor High School) were locked down. More personnel arrived and a second search was conducted. Still no shooter or injured people discovered. And a third search was conducted by bomb sniffing dogs. And once again, nothing suspicious was found.
The North Mason School District set up two locations for Hawkins Middle School students will be transported for unification with parents: families who live south of the district were re-unified with students at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints on Belwood Lane; families living north of campus met at the Theler Center.
High School students remained in the building until middle school students were moved to unification sites. The buses then returned to the campus and high schools students were delivered home as usual.