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Bay Village Police Found No Credible Threat After High School Lockdown

Updated: 4:22 p.m., Friday, Jan. 29, 2020

Law enforcement found no credible threat or weapons at Bay Village High School after a threat was phoned in to Bay Village Police early Friday afternoon, leading to a lockdown and an exhaustive sweep of the school.

Just before 1 p.m., a man called the Bay Village Police Department's non-emergency line to say there was a man hiding in the bathroom of Bay Village High School “with guns and knives threatening to shoot up the school,” Bay Village Police Chief Kathy Leasure said in an afternoon press conference.

Shortly after the call, the school was alerted and went into lockdown and other nearby schools sheltered in place. Parents were alerted via texts, tweets and emails from individual schools and the Bay Village School District.

An investigation into who made this call is ongoing, according to Leasure, who thanked the various local law enforcement agencies and fire departments that assisted.

“It’s something that we take very seriously. And it impacts not only our community but all the communities… we had agencies from all over here helping us out, from Rocky River, Lakewood, Westlake, North Olmstead, Fairview Park, Avon Lake, Ohio State Highway Patrol,” Leasure said. “The sheriffs were ready to go, we had fire departments on standby just in case we had other agencies calling us saying, we’re here, we’re ready to help out. So it not only impacts Bay Village, but it impacts all these other agencies and all these other cities that came and helped us out.”

Charges are possible when police identify who made the threat, she said.

Over text, the district announced dismissal would start for Bay High School students at 2:50 p.m. at Bay Presbyterian Church, in the 25000 block of Lake Road. All other schools continue to stay in place, the texts said. Parents were told those students are were safe inside, and were told to bring ID to pick up students.

The school district also tweeted dismissal instructions.

Do not return to BHS to retrieve cars or other belongings. You’ll be alerted when you can return to campus. — Bay Village Schools (@BaySchoolsOH) January 29, 2021

The school district also tweeted that police were continuing a search of the school but as of 2:40 p.m., “nothing credible” had been found.

Parents of students at Saint Raphael School, also in the West Side suburb of Cleveland, received a 1:45 p.m. email assuring them that their children were safe and no one was being permitted in or out of the building. But parents also were advised that transportation for the afternoon was cancelled and children could be picked up at 3:30 p.m.

By 3:30 p.m., nearby Normandy Elementary School and other Bay Village schools were also releasing students to parents and guardians for pickup.

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