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Irving’s Austin Middle School reopens at 10 a.m. following report of man with gun

Austin Middle School in Irving was set to reopen at 10 a.m. Thursday after the school went into lockdown due to a report that a man with a gun was on campus, police said.

A parent called about 7 a.m. to report seeing a man stepping out of a maroon Ford F-150 in the school parking lot with what looked like a long rifle, according to Officer Robert Reeves, an Irving police spokesman. The man reportedly had a beard and wore a camouflage vest.

Police swept the school, however, and found no suspects or weapons, Reeves said. Students were escorted to Pierce Early Childhood Center during the lockdown, where parents had the option of picking them up, police said.

But the school was deemed safe after the search, and there were no injuries, Reeves said during a press conference Thursday morning.

“We believe the report was credible based on the emotions and descriptions that the person gave to us,” Reeves said standing in front of the Pierce Early Childhood Center. “The police department takes every report of this very seriously.”

Reeves said the Irving Independent School District cooperated with police throughout this process and let the department take the lead.

Police will try to review surveillance videos to identify the alleged man with a gun, Reeves said. School campuses are weapons-free zones, he said, so it would be a problem if somebody brought a gun to Austin Middle School.

In a Facebook post around 8:40 a.m., Irving police said the first sweep of the school revealed no suspect or weapon on the premises.

The Irving Independent School District said on Twitter at 8:41 a.m. that police were conducting a secondary search of the middle school and surrounding areas. Students and staff were still being moved to Pierce Early Childhood School, the district said, and all were safe.

Reeves said police will check all “investigative leads” to try to determine what happened.

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Jack Howland is a breaking news and enterprise reporter. Before coming to the Star-Telegram in May 2019, he worked for two and a half years as a breaking news reporter at the Poughkeepsie Journal in New York. He’s a graduate of the University of Missouri School of Journalism.
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