The Missoula Police Department issued the following statement about the lockdown that occurred at Hellgate High School on Thursday afternoon. Public Information Officer Lydia Arnold posted this report.

'Three juveniles are being detained by the Missoula Police Department for questioning in reference to the safety threat made towards Hellgate High School on September 2, 2021.

School Resource Officer Burton was on scene when the school administration office was advised of a student reporting being told to leave school. The student reported they had been told there was a student with a firearm and some sort of event was going to take place at 1:30 PM.

School Resource Officer Burton was able to relay the school threat to additional officers and initiate the Missoula Police Department’s response to the school. At the same time, Officer Burton was working in coordination with the school’s principal who initiated the lockdown procedures to ensure the safety of those within the building.

Agencies including FBI, US Marshalls, Probation and Parole, Missoula County Sheriffs, and Montana Highway Patrol responded to assist Missoula Police Department. The assisting agencies helped establish a perimeter around the school and in the neighborhood.

Officers were placed on each floor of the school in a systematic approach to maintain the safety of the students during the lockdown. Officers and school staff were able to identify three juveniles associated with the threat made. Officers removed those student from the classroom. The three juveniles are currently being detained and parents of those detained are being contacted for continued investigation.

At around 2:38 PM, the lockdown was lifted from the school. Missoula Police Department does not believe there is a threat to the public or to the school, but Officers are still on scene for continued investigation.

Any threat to a school has an impact on the students who were present and their families. Missoula Police Department appreciates all responding agencies that helped during this critical incident.

When more details are available, they will be provided.'

Some students indicated they had a gun and were going to conduct a school shooting.


KGVO News reached out to Missoula Police Department Public Information Officer Lydia Arnold on Thursday afternoon about the lockdown underway at Hellgate High School.

Hellgate officials said the school went on lockdown just before 1:30 p.m. ‘based on a report that there was a firearm on campus, and as on now the report was unsubstantiated’.

Arnold said an investigation is underway inside the building, but she did not say there was a direct threat to the public.

The University of Montana issued a timely warning asking UM students to avoid the area around Hellgate High School due to the lockdown.

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