News Flash

Sheriff - News

Posted on: May 19, 2022

JOINT PRESS RELEASE: Wood River Middle School Lockdown

SHERIFF STEVE HARKINS
CHIEF STEVE ENGLAND, HAILEY POLICE
On May 17, 2022 at approximately 10:15 AM the Blaine County Emergency Communications Center received an electronic Lockdown message from Wood River Middle School in Hailey, Idaho.

At approximately 10:16 AM the Hailey Police Department, the Hailey Fire Department and Wood River Fire and Rescue were dispatched to the school for the report of a Lockdown.  

At approximately 10:17 AM a Wood River Middle School staff member called 911 and relayed that several teachers had reported hearing a possible gun shot in the 6th Grade hallway. At 10:21 AM officers from the Hailey Police Department and deputies from the Blaine County Sheriff’s Office arrived at the school and entered the building. Officers and deputies quickly began a search of the school for an active shooter and ensured the students and faculty were secure in their classrooms. 

At approximately 11:07 AM a student was questioned and admitted to popping a balloon in the 6th Grade Hall restroom. At approximately 11:20 AM this information was confirmed and officers inside ensured that the students and faculty were safe by making contact with each classroom. At approximately 11:33 AM the lockdown was lifted and emergency units began to clear the scene. 

Local police and fire agencies have been training together for many years to respond to an active shooter event.  Agencies across the nation learned valuable lessons from the events at Columbine (CO) High School where it took approximately 47 minutes after the shooting started for a SWAT team to assemble and make entry.

“Chief England and I are very proud of the quick response by our agencies and local partners who responded to this event and are thankful this turned out to be a false alarm. We understand this was a traumatic event for teachers and students inside the building and for the parents of the students.  A review of this event will occur with local agencies to evaluate our response and to see what improvements can be made. We also greatly appreciate all the support and response from the local fire departments”, said Sheriff Steve Harkins.  

The following agencies responded to this event: Hailey Police Department, Blaine County Sheriff’s Office, Bellevue Marshal’s Office, Sun Valley Police Department, Idaho State Police, Wood River Fire and Rescue, Hailey Fire Department, Sun Valley Fire Department and Bellevue Fire Department, St. Luke’s Life Flight.

Sheriff Steve Harkins

Posted: 10:00 AM. on May 19, 2022

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CONTACT:    Holly Carter – Blaine County Sheriff’s Office (208) 788-5536

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