Students were locked in their classrooms and hallways were cleared at Glenrosa Middle School on Tuesday morning, as the school went into lockdown at the request of RCMP.
The school on Glen Abbey Place in West Kelowna was locked down for around an hour due to what the school principal described in a message to parents as “a situation in our community.”
Superintendent Kevin Kaardal said the police incident was “near enough to the school that the RCMP made a request to the school and we followed their directions.”
While there was a lot of speculation online about what caused the lockdown, the superintendent said no one was on school property with a weapon other than police.
The school said the lockdown ended around 12:25 p.m., when the “issue in the community was resolved.”
In a press release issued just before 2 p.m., West Kelowna RCMP said the incident involved a vehicle that failed to stop for police, which prompted officers to cordon off an area in the Glenrosa neighbourhood.
Police said the incident started shortly after 10:40 a.m., after officers tried stopping the vehicle along Glenrosa Road before it sped away at a high rate of speed.
“A short time later, front-line members located the vehicle unoccupied,” said the press release, “and with the support of the RCMP Air Services and the Police Dog Services, a track was established and police saturated the area.”
The RCMP also said “in order to ensure public safety, police closed a portion of the roadway and notified several businesses, including a local school, during the unfolding police incident. The incident was not related to the school and notification was only precautionary in nature.”
West Kelowna RCMP said the investigation remains active at this time, though Glenrosa Road has since been reopened and there is no current threat to the public.
“All businesses and schools that were affected by this incident due to the close proximity of the unfolding event have since reopened and can resume their daily activities,” said police.
The superintendent said during the lockdown, the school follows a protocol where no one leaves the building and people stay out-of-line of sight as much as possible.
The school said in a message to parents that all staff and students are safe, and that RCMP were on site throughout the incident.
A resident of Fenton Road told Global News he heard an aircraft circling late Tuesday morning, and when he called police they told him it was a RCMP aircraft, that they were looking for someone and he should stay inside.
On nearby Goldie Way, a Global News crew also spotted police towing away a white SUV.
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