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Decatur High, Renfroe Middle students briefly ordered to ‘shelter in place’ after shot fired nearby

Crime and public safety Decatur

Decatur High, Renfroe Middle students briefly ordered to ‘shelter in place’ after shot fired nearby

Decatur High School. Photo by Dean Hesse.
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This story has been updated. 

Decatur, GA – Decatur High and Renfroe Middle School students on Wednesday, March 11, were briefly ordered to “shelter in place” due to an incident in a neighborhood across the street.

Decatur Police said the lockdown occurred because someone standing near the school fired a gun into the air.

“On Wednesday, March 11, 2020 at approximately 8:28 a.m., the Decatur Police received a call in reference to the sound of a single gunshot near the area of Commerce Drive and Robin Street,” Sgt. John Bender said. “Immediately after receiving the call, our school resource officer inside of Decatur High School informed the administration to go into their lockdown procedures out of an abundance of caution.

“While responding to the call, a City Schools of Decatur school bus driver called the Decatur 911 center and stated he saw a male standing near 244 Robin Street fire a pistol into the air. … Officers arrived in the area and attempted to speak with two juvenile males matching the description who were standing within the 200 block of Robin Street. The juveniles became non-compliant with officers and attempted to leave the area. The juveniles were detained then, later released to their guardian. The DeKalb County Police Department responded to the scene to offer the assistance of a K-9. A search of the area by the K-9 yielded a few spent shell casings near 244 Robin Street.”

Bender said the juveniles did not have a gun.

A school system spokesperson said the “shelter in place” plan, also called a “soft lockdown,” requires the classroom doors to be locked while instruction continues. The shelter in place was ordered around 8:29 a.m. and was lifted at 8:48 a.m.

The principal of Decatur High sent the following email to parents about the incident:

DHS Students and Families,

This morning at approximately 8:29 AM, Decatur High School staff and students were instructed to shelter in place because of police activity in the neighborhood. The DHS faculty, staff, and students responded immediately and the school was secured. At approximately 8:48 AM, the Decatur Police cleared the situation and the shelter in place ended.

In the event of a shelter in place order, classroom doors are locked, students are cleared from the hallways but instruction continues within the classroom.

If you have any questions or concerns about this matter, please let me know.

Rochelle Lofstrand

WE/DHS Principal

Renfroe parents received this letter:

Dear Renfroe Community,

This morning at approximately 8:30 AM, I informed Renfroe Middle School staff and students the school was in a lockdown situation due to police activity in Decatur. In this lockdown, the outside campus and exterior doors were secure, teachers and students were not permitted to leave, but all activities inside the building continued as normal.  Students still arriving for the school day entered the school in the front door supervised by Officer Damico and me. The RMS faculty, staff, and students responded immediately and the school was secured.  At approximately 8:50 AM, the Decatur Police cleared the situation and the lockdown ended.

If you have any questions or concerns about this matter, please let me know.

Greg Wiseman

Principal, Renfroe Middle School

This story will be updated when more information is available.

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