WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) — A Wichita elementary school was placed on “lockout” Wednesday due to a nearby scene with police and emergency vehicles. The scene was cleared just before 7 p.m.

It happened just after 12 p.m. near the intersection of 9th Street and High Street, by Black Traditional Magnet Elementary School.

Wichita Police Department Officer Juan Rebolledo says that officers were responding to a welfare check regarding a 39-year-old male having a possible mental health crisis.

Upon initial contact, the patient presented a gun. The responding officers retreated and called in additional resources, including negotiators and a SWAT team.

The patient was alone inside his house, and neighbors within the block were asked to voluntarily evacuate or take shelter in place.

The area was blocked off to traffic.

Scene from 9th and Gow Street (KSN Photo)

Civic Ready Alerts

Emergency alerts and voicemails were sent to Sedgwick County’s Civic Ready Alert subscribers nearly three hours later.

Sedgwick County issued a statement following the notifications:

This afternoon, at 2:48 p.m., Sedgwick County Emergency Communications sent out a Civic Ready Alert on behalf of the Wichita Police Department (WPD) regarding a SWAT situation that might endanger the public. The alert went out to people in the geographic location of the incident, plus everyone who had subscribed to Wichita Public Safety Alerts. Sedgwick County decided to err on the side of caution, sending the alert beyond the geographical area, recognizing that there was a school in that immediate vicinity that would be dismissing and parents and care givers would be coming from outside the area in an attempt to pick up children. 

Soon after the alert went out, Sedgwick County Emergency Communications and Emergency Management realized that some alerts omitted the location of the SWAT situation so the notification was re-sent minutes later, with the location included for all alerts.

Stephanie Birmingham, Sedgwick County Community Relations Specialist

Black Traditional Magnet Elementary School

Wichita Public Schools Director of Safety and Environmental Services Terri Moses says that the school was notified immediately.

“Shortly after noon, Wichita public schools was notified by 911 of an incident that was directly across the street from Black Traditional Magnet School. At that time, our administration went directly into lockout, and that means all of our students were moved inside, and activities continued inside the school,” said Moses.

Scene from 9th and Gow Street (KSN Photo)

Moses says that a plan was put in place for students and parents.

“We are nearing the end of the day in regards to release from the school, and we’re working with our partners at First Student as well as our families, and we have a plan,” said Moses. “We will release students to busses on a safe side of the school. Buses will then take all of the students from black to Hadley Middle School, which is at 1101 Dougherty, just very close here. We will then have all the students go inside Hadley. They will remain there until a parent or somebody who is listed on the parent information form shows up to pick up those students.”