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LSS students initially thought lockdown was a drill

Members of the Emergency Response Team leave Langley Secondary School on Tuesday afternoon after a three-hour lock down. The drama unfolded after police received several calls that someone had entered the school carrying a weapon. The gun turned out to be a replica, and a 17-year-old man was taken into custody. - Gary AHUJA/Langley Times
Members of the Emergency Response Team leave Langley Secondary School on Tuesday afternoon after a three-hour lock down. The drama unfolded after police received several calls that someone had entered the school carrying a weapon. The gun turned out to be a replica, and a 17-year-old man was taken into custody.
— image credit: Gary AHUJA/Langley Times

When Langley Secondary was locked down on Tuesday morning, Vinisha Sharma didn’t think much about it at first.

“We had heard there was apparently going to be a drill,” she admitted.

“We all thought it was a joke until text messages started going through that there were cop cars outside.”

LSS was locked down at about 11 a.m. on Tuesday after reports that as many as five youths had entered the school, one of them with a gun.

Langley RCMP, with the help of the Lower Mainland Emergency Response Team, completed a search of the school and recovered a replica handgun.

The lockdown ended around 1:45 p.m. and Langley RCMP later announced a 17-year-old male was in custody.

About 40 RCMP officers were involved in the investigation.

Sharma, 17, and her classmates were told to stay low and get to the back of the classroom and to use desks as shields.

“There were probably 10 minutes I was a little shaken up because our classroom door was kind of rattling,” she admitted.

“The majority of the time we just stayed really quiet. It got a little antsy at the end.”

“We only realized it was serious when we heard the panic in the voice over the announcements,” said Georgia Ellenwood, 15.

“We had no idea what was going on, though.”

There was no noise in the hallways, except for when police officers came to search some of the classrooms.

Sharma was in contact via text message with her mom, who was nearby in the Christian Life Assembly parking lot with two other parents.

After the lockdown took effect, Langley RCMP shut down all traffic passing along 56 Avenue by the school.

Counselling is being made available to all LSS students.

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