Montgomery schools briefly on lockdown after report of man with gun

March 15, 2013

An incident involving two bounty hunters briefly shut down Quince Orchard High School in Gaithersburg Friday afternoon.

At least three Montgomery County schools were placed on lockdown after police received reports of a man with a gun in a car near the high school.

Police say they received the call at 2:11 p.m., according to Montgomery County Police spokesman Bob Ladany.

It turned out that the two men who were following a target who had driven into the school parking lot, then pulled back out, he said.

Shortly thereafter, he said, police stopped a car matching the description they had been given of the one seen at Quince Orchard High School.

The two men in the car were fully cooperative. The reported gun ended up being a Taser, he said, adding that there had been no shots fired.

However, the two men who were stopped will have to track down the person they had been following another time, he said.

But, “they know who he is,” Ladany said.

Other nearby schools were under “shelter in place” orders, besides Quince Orchard, including Lakelands Park Middle in Rockville and Rachel Carson Elementary in Gaithersburg.

“Security measures were taken in an abundance of [caution]. The situation at QO has been resolved. There was no danger to students or staff,” Montgomery County Public Schools spokesman Dana Tofig wrote on Twitter half an hour after the incident.

In a phone interview, Tofig said the two bounty hunters got out of their car and approached an individual. It appeared they had weapons, he said.

“The school took precautionary measures because it didn’t know what was going on,” he said.

“The school took the right actions to protect our kids,” he said. “In the end there was no threat.”

The situation was resolved quickly, he said, adding that buses home were delayed by just a few minutes.

At Lakelands Park Middle School, Principal Deborah Higdon told parents in an e-mail, “At 2:15 I received information that Quince Orchard High School was on emergency Lock Down. Due to the close location of both schools, I decided to put my school in a Shelter in Place status. ... At 2:33, I received information that the Lock Down at Quince Orchard High School was lifted. ... The steps we took were to make sure all students and all staff members were safe.”

And at Rachel Carson Elementary in Rockville, school officials emailed parents to let them know that buses had been held for around 15 minutes while the incident took place.

Gazette Staff Writer Kara Rose contributed to this report.

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