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Four Auburn schools on lockdown due to reports of gunshots

Four Auburn schools were placed on a modified lockdown Wednesday morning due to police activity in the area.  Ilalko elementary school, Mt. Baker middle school, Auburn Riverside high school and Lakeland Hills elementary school all were placed on modified lockdown after Auburn police received reports of multiple gunshots in the area.

A modified lockdown is “all exterior doors are locked. No one is allowed in or out of the building. However, students and staff follow the normal schedule within the building and learning continues,” explained Vicki Alonzo, Auburn School District Director of Communications.

Auburn police Commander Mike Hirman confirmed the activity is related to an illegal discharge.  “Witnesses reported five to six gunshots, and then a few more. To the witnesses, it appeared the suspect firing rounds was moving down the hill near Kennedy and Kersey

The schools were placed on lockdown as officers flooded the area to locate the origin of the gunshots.  Officers first arriving on scene also heard gunshots, confirming witness accounts.  The shots were coming from the wooded hillside near the high school.

Guardian One was requested, and a drone was utilized in the search.  “Once aloft, the drone was able to find the suspect crouched down,” said Hirman. “Officers responded and detained him”

The male was wearing camouflage clothing and had a black backpack. Officers also “found a rifle and a shotgun on him,” said Hirman.  The male “admitted to shooting [the firearms] for target practice. The weapons were confiscated.”

auburn police, school lockdown, suspect, drone photo, APD, auburn wa police
A photo of the suspect captured by the APD drone. Don’t see him? He’s the black mark. | courtesy photo

The male was arrested for unlawful discharge of a firearm within city limits.  The schools were removed from lockdown shortly after 11:00am.

Last Updated: 3:30pm To add updated information on the incident. 

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