Gun on campus puts Marion schools on lockdown

Two students arrested, no one injured in incident

By Ralph Hardin ralphhardin@gmail.com

Following up on a tip, Marion High School officials and Marion Police uncovered a gun at the high school Friday morning. The school was placed on a precautionary lockdown for a little over an hour Friday morning as police and school administrators handled the situation after someone reportedly alerted school officials about a gun. The gun was quickly located and two students were taken into custody. No one was injured in the incident, although one student passed out at Marion Middle School in an unrelated incident due to a medical condition, briefly adding to the situation when an ambulance was called. The high school, along with neighboring school buildings, Marion Junior High, Middle School and Intermediate, was placed on lockdown. Employees and emergency personnel were notified of the situation through the “Rave Panic Button” application. In a statement from the school district, the protocol was part of recently-passed legislation revolving around emergency preparedness. Following an “All Clear” notification, regular classroom activities resumed around 9:30 a.m., although several parents checked their children out of school as a precautionary measure. News of the incident made the rounds on social media. The Marion Police Department’s Facebook page was inundated with posts from parents and concerned residents looking for information. Amid the facts were a number of wild rumors, including claims of an “active shooter” and multiple weapons and students being involved. Around 10:30 a.m., Marion Police Chief Gary Kelley responded to the Facebook posts, assuring residents, “Everything is OK at the school. No one hurt. School taken off of lockdown. Weapon was found. Talking to persons of interest.” No explanation of why the student brought the gun to school was given. Police are continuing their investigation into the incident. In the news release, the Marion School District thanked all staff, students the Marion Police Department, Crittenden County Sheriff’s Department, 911 operators and the West Memphis Police Department “for their prompt and appropriate actions.” District officials also offered special thanks to the persons who provided the initial information to Marion High School.

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