By Jennifer Mayerle

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Students are home safe with their parents after a report of a person with a gun in a Minneapolis high school.

“We had thought it was going to be another school shooting, like we actually thought people got hurt and so it was actually it was bad,” sophomore Cynthia Fitzgerald said.

Police responded to Patrick Henry High School in north Minneapolis around 3:30 p.m. Tuesday. School had already let out for the day but about 200 students were still inside. Officers went room by room looking for the suspect.

Emotion overwhelmed parents and students.

“You’re OK, it’s OK, you’re safe now. It’s OK,” parent Dora Hill consoled her daughter Jania.

Hill and her daughter were in different locations inside Patrick Henry High School when officials called a Code Red. That means it’s a life threatening situation.

“We locked the doors, we turned off all the lights, we shut the curtains,” Hill said.

Police responded to the school after a report of a person with a gun was seen going inside. Students stayed in place while police searched the building room by room. As they cleared an area, police escorted students from the building. One of them was mistaken for the suspect believed to be in a gray jacket.

“By the time I got outside police officers were telling me to put my hands on my head and I’m in handcuffs and I’m in a car they just waiting to get the full description, trying to see if I’m the guy or not,” freshman AJ Smith said.

His mom is frustrated her son had to go through that but said she counts her blessings.

“Thank that nothing tragic happened because these situations it could’ve went any way,” mom Mesha Smith said.

While people checked students in on a bus to stay warm, another parent anxiously waited for her child.

“I think of the parents in Florida. When I saw the ambulances lined on the other side of the building what that must’ve been like and the fact that this will be with my daughter for the rest of her life,” the mom said.

Finally, after waiting nearly two hours her daughter came out of the building to her mom’s arms.

“Relief,” the mom said.

Police have surveillance video of the suspect leaving the school. They plan to show it to school officials and officers in the area to see if they can identify the person.

Support staff will be at Patrick Henry when the school opens Wednesday morning to help students process what happened.


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