Man with gun at Irving middle school was law enforcement officer, police say

The man with a gun who was spotted in the Austin Middle School parking lot Thursday morning, causing the school to go into a lockdown, was actually a law enforcement officer, Irving police said on Friday.

A parent had called police about 7 a.m. Thursday to report seeing a man in a camo vest step out of a maroon Ford F-150 in the school parking lot with a long rifle. However, police said after investigating the report, the man was a law enforcement officer who was part of a task force serving a warrant on a nearby street.

The members of the task force staged their vehicles in the middle school parking lot, police said.

“We want to inform everyone that there was never a threat to Austin Middle School,” police spokesman Officer Robert Reeves said in a press release.

The school went into lockdown Thursday after the district received the parent’s report, and students were escorted to Pierce Early Childhood Center, police said. Parents could pick their children up from the school.

Police searched the school multiple times and found no suspects or weapons. It was deemed safe, police said, and the school reopened at 10 a.m. Thursday.

Police were going to try to review security videos, Reeves said.

He said in the release Friday police appreciate the parent who called them and want to remind people “if you see something, say something.”

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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.