Metro-East News

East St. Louis elementary school put on lockdown after shots fired in neighborhood

What happens during a school lockdown?

A school lockdown is a precautionary measure issued in response to a direct or nearby threat. It requires staff and students to respond quickly and comply with rules. Here’s how it often works.
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A school lockdown is a precautionary measure issued in response to a direct or nearby threat. It requires staff and students to respond quickly and comply with rules. Here’s how it often works.

An East St. Louis elementary school was put on lockdown Tuesday morning after shots were fired near the school.

A teacher at Unity Lutheran Elementary School called 911 and said she heard multiple shots fired at the school, according to East St. Louis police Chief Jerry Simon.

However, Herb Simmons, director of the St. Clair County Emergency Management Agency, said it took about 2 minutes to determine that the shots were heard outside and not inside the school.

Simon said officers met with the teacher at 10:55 a.m. when she called.

"It took a couple of seconds before police were able to reach the teacher, who said it was not in the school but outside of the school," Simon said. "We checked the whole area and was unable to find anything."

Simon said officer eventually found a man had been shot in the hand a few blocks down near 39th Street and Waverly Avenue.

The man told police he was approached by two other men asking for cigarettes, Simon said. The man said he did not have anything and began to walk away. One of the men fired at least two shots in his direction and struck the man's hand.

He was taken to the hospital.

Simon noted multiple agencies were involved and came to the location because it was a school.

The students at Unity Lutheran Elementary School were on lockdown for about 10 minutes, according to Alice Spencer, the school's secretary.

Spencer confirmed no one at the school was injured.

Dana Rieck: 618-239-2642, @ByDanaRieck

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