Daily Progress, Jacksonville, TX

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May 10, 2013

UPDATE: No shots actually fired near West Side Elementary

JACKSONVILLE — 1:30 p.m.

Better safe than sorry.

The West Side Elementary campus locked down — a process officials refer to as a "Shelter In Place” — for about 30 minutes Friday morning after there were reports of shots fired nearby.

But Jacksonville Police Chief Reece Daniel said an investigation by his department determined there were no gunshots.

“We were investigating a report of shots fired somewhere west of the school," Daniel explained Friday afternoon. “Officers heard no shots and could only locate one witness that thought he had heard 'something' from out in the county. It could have well been someone pounding on sheet metal at the welding shop west of the school.”

So, ultimately, is no way to determine the origin of the noise, reports show.

“The rumors far exceed the facts,” the chief said. “ … Our officers saw nothing unusual at the school or within the six block radius they checked.”

Superintendent Dr. Joe Wardell said he was pleased with the speed and efficiency in which The Shelter In Place was enacted. It did not panic students and there was a complete sense of normalcy during the entire episode, he said.

Officers from the Jacksonville Police Department and the Jacksonville Independent School District police force responded to reports of the shots around 10:45 a.m.

Only a small group of pre-k students, who happened to be playing outside, even knew there was anything amiss with the police action, according to Wardell.

“The students are back safe in class,” Dr, Wardell said Friday morning.

11:38 a.m. - The West Side Elementary campus locked down Friday morning for about 30 minutes after there were reports of shots fired nearby.

"Everything is fine, reports of shots went out in the community," said Superintendent Dr. Joe Wardell. "Naturally we shut the school down."

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