Wellington Scoop

Schools locked down for an hour after sighting of armed man

Four Whanganui schools were locked-down for an hour this morning after a report that someone had seen an armed man wearing a balaclava. The emergency ended at 9.15.

News from NZ Police
Police have stood down cordons and extra staff in the Tawhero area of Whanganui where there was a report of a man carrying a firearm wearing a balaclava this morning before 8am.

Police had cordoned the area around Tawhero School as a precaution and the school voluntarily had gone into lockdown. Police received only one report of this man, and we have not located anyone of this description in Tawhero.

A detailed search of the wider area was completed and we are satisfied that there is no longer a risk to the community.

Under these circumstances the schools’ response was appropriate and the correct decision was made to lock the schools down to keep our children safe. We believe the community would expect us to respond in the manner we did and although we are satisfied that the community is not at risk, we thank the community for their patience in this matter.

“The school has done a fantastic job and their response was quick and effective. Police staff responded quickly and we had staff in the area within minutes of the emergency call and the area was cordoned.”

Cordons were lifted at about 9.15 am and the schools are again open.

We realise that a number of children or parents may have been affected by this incident and we encourage people to call Victim Support if they require it. 0800 842 846.