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Updated: School lockdown ends without incident
A three-hour drama at Langley Secondary School on Tuesday afternoon led to a massive police presence and a school lockdown.
The incident drew 40 officers from Serious Crime, General Duty, Youth Unit and Dog Services, as well as Air One.
The incident unfolded when police received many calls that a person armed with a weapon had entered the school sometime between 11 a.m. and noon on Tuesday, said Cpl. Holly Marks, who speaks for Langley RCMP.
She said that the Lower Mainland Emergency Response Team completed a thorough and methodical search of the school and recovered a replica handgun.
A 17-year-old man is in custody, and no one was injured, Marks said.
Earlier, there had been reports that more than one gunman had entered the school which is located at 21405 56 Ave.
Both LSS and Christian Life Assembly next door were locked down, and Transport Canada closed the airspace above Langley Regional Airport, which is across the street from the school.
During the tense situation, anxious parents told The Times that their children were sending them text messages. Later, police were said to have confiscated all cellphones.
One mother said that her son had texted her from the gym that no one was allowed to leave.
He said that the students were “relaxed and bored.”
No one had heard gun shots, she added.
Her son and other students were searched by police before being herded into the gym, she added.
Twin Rinks was set up as a gathering point for parents.
Shortly before 1 p.m., two groups of students had been taken to the safety of CLA, which is immediately to the west of LSS. At 1:45 p.m., the situation was diffused when a suspect was arrested.
Langley RCMP and Langley School District issued a joint statement thanking parents and students for their patience during the lockdown.
“Understandably, many would have safety concerns,” superintendent Cheryle Beaumont said.
“We are just thankful that this incident has been brought to resolution without anyone being hurt.
“We appreciate how the situation was dealt with,” she added.
Parents are urged to offer their children counseling.
The RCMP’s client and victim support service can be reached at 604-532-3214.