North St. Paul high school locked down twice in one day — first, over report of student with gun and then threat on social media

North St. Paul’s high school was locked down twice Thursday — first over a report of a student with a handgun and later when a student posted a threat on social media, according to police.

In the first case, police found two students at North High School with a replica firearm who were using it for “threatening-type behavior to other students,” said Capt. Dustin Nikituk, North St. Paul police spokesman.

“You would have never known it was a fake gun until really close inspection,” he said.

Police were called back to the school after a student posted a threat saying another gun was left in the school; it was “a school shooting-type threat,” Nikituk said. Police found the student and determined the Instagram post was a hoax.

On Thursday afternoon, North High School staff received a tip that a student allegedly had a handgun in school, Principal Greg Nelson wrote in a message to parents.

The school resource officer was first to respond at about 12:45 p.m., along with other officers, and they found two male students in a bathroom with a replica gun, Nikituk  said.

“They were flashing around the gun, pointing it at students,” he said. “The gun looked very real — like a Glock.”

Police determined it was apparently an unloaded BB gun. Officers arrested the two juvenile males, who Nikituk said will face charges.

“Student safety is and continues to be our primary concern,” Nelso wrote to parents. “We applaud our students and staff for their communication and quick action.”

At about 1:40 p.m., police were called back to the high school about a threat posted on social media.

The school was locked again and searched, and police found the student who made the post, according to Nikituk. The student was turned over to school staff.

“We are very, very fortunate that we were able to resolve the situation quickly and everyone was safe and school resumed normal business,” Nikituk said.


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