‘It’s just panic’: Lakeland HS students relieved police found no threat during lockdown

Coeur d'Alene Police patrol car parked outside of Lakeland High School.RATHDRUM, Idaho — It was a frightening day for some parents in North Idaho – Lakeland High School in Rathdrum was placed under lockdown Wednesday morning. Two teachers thought they heard gunfire at the school.

No one was allowed in or out while law enforcement searched the building.

Crews searched all morning long for any signs of a threat at Lakeland High School, but didn’t find any. Police said they also never found any weapons.

RELATED: Superintendent tells parents ‘no evidence of any threat,’ amid lockdown at Lakeland High School

The high school has several construction projects in the area surrounding it. Lakeland Joint School District believes those teachers may have heard nail guns on a rooftop.

Fortunately, this turned out to be nothing. But for some time Wednesday morning, students and staff didn’t know that. Many were in fear, and some were thinking of the worst.

It’s the moment you pray your child never has to experience.

“I saw just cops running by with full on ARs. Me, freaking out, going like, ‘What the heck is going on?'” said Aaron Woodward, a sophomore at Lakeland High School.

The time when a place that’s supposed to feel safe turns into a place you feel the utmost fear.

“We just locked the door, and hid in one of the corners,” Aaron said.

That’s what some students experienced today at Lakeland High School.

“Everyone was saying the same thing. They heard shots, but knew nothing else,” said Elijah Woodward, a senior at Lakeland High School.

The school was placed on a lockdown when two teachers believed they heard gunshots.

“Just sitting in our classes like normal, and then all of a sudden we hear just a whole bunch of sirens come down. You could see it outside,” Elijah said.

Those flashing lights were a red flag for students, still crouched in their classrooms.

“We thought it was just a normal drill. And then it became five minutes. And then five minutes turned into ten. And we thought, something is going on. This is the longest drill we have ever had,”
Elijah said.

Police searched the school and didn’t find any threat, but no one knew that at first.

“If you know nothing, and then you start hearing sirens and stuff. Your brain starts contemplating what’s going on. What transpires. It’s just panic,” Elijah said.

The school’s lockdown was lifted later, and Lakeland students got to meet with their parents in the Super 1 Foods parking lot next door. It was a relief to uneasy families and staff thinking of the worst this morning.

“You know, what if you’re in danger? And then, fearing for your life,” Aaron said.

4 News Now also spoke with Elijah and Aaron’s mom. She said she’s pleased with the way her children’s school handled the situation Wednesday.

This is the first incident like this to happen at Lakeland High School, and the district said all their training paid off. They’ll be meeting with local law enforcement to talk about what they did well
and what they might want to change in the future.

RELATED: ‘He responded exactly the way we would hope,’ Lakeland SD superintendent says of armed school resource officer