Toledo Christian School was briefly placed on lockdown today after a parent observed another person, who proved to be an off-duty police officer, carrying a gun in the building, Toledo police said.
The call came in at 8:22 a.m. and police quickly set up a perimeter around the building and neighboring Our Lady of Perpetual Help Church and School, but other witnesses told arriving officers the man with the holstered sidearm had already left the area, Toledo Sgt. Joe Heffernan said.
Toledo police contacted the off-duty officer, who works for a different community, and he confirmed that he had been at Toledo Christian dropping off his own child at the time the call came in, Sergeant Heffernan said. Toledo officers suggested to him that in the future, he either conceal his weapon or wear his police uniform to avoid causing alarm, the sergeant said.
"He had a badge on his belt" but that was overlooked, Sergeant Heffernan said.
The lockdown was lifted about 9:15 a.m.
Scott Salsbury of Perrysburg, with a young son in tow, was one of numerous parents who went to the school after hearing of the lockdown — in his case, from his two children who are Toledo Christian students and sent him text messages about it.
"I was just hoping to see them, and make sure they're OK," Mr. Salsbury said while walking toward the school. But by that time, the son was on the phone to him advising that the crisis was over and everyone was safe.
"He said he didn't see anything, but it was not a drill," Mr. Salsbury said, calling the situation "intimidating."
Sergeant Heffernan said police take no chances with reports like the one they received today.
"We respond in force, quickly," he said. "The school did exactly as they should have done.... All things considered, it went very well today. The kids were never in any danger."