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VIDEO: Lockdown at Winooski Schools

We're getting our very first look at the tense situation that unfolded inside of the Winooski Education Center last week. A home invasion sparked a school lockdown and had hundreds fearing a gunman was inside.
We're getting our very first look at the tense situation that unfolded inside of the Winooski Education Center last week.

A home invasion sparked a school lockdown and had hundreds fearing a gunman was inside.  Turns out he wasn't, and no one was hurt. But tonight, we want to show you never before seen video.

The home invasion suspect wasn't caught on camera, and we aren't going to see the scared students, but this video does give us an interesting look at how police training transfers to real life.

With guns drawn, one by one, 9 officers very calmly enter the Winooski Elementary, Middle, and High school. After clearing the main lobby, the team splits up; some to the right, others to the left - at this time, not knowing whether or not a gunman is on campus.

"We entered the building assuming that we had an active threat," Winooski Police Chief Steve McQueen said.

The scene from the outside was active, but for the first time, thanks to an elaborate system of surveillance cameras set up inside Winooski schools, we're seeing a glimpse into how police responded.

"We’re quite confident that this was a targeted home invasion, we are confident that it was drug related,” Chief McQueen said.

Nearly a week later, no arrests have been made, but police feel confident they know who they're dealing with.

Police say the situation started when two men stormed into a house on Weaver Street. When one suspect took off running toward the school, about 85 people went into lockdown.

Word of a possible gunman on campus came in around 4:30 and while lockdown drills are done once a month here at the schools, they're not done after hours… Until now.

Monday's school safety meeting is sparking some change, including day and nighttime lockdown drills, increased police presence, better access to each and every room, and an improved method of managing the perimeter and the people around it.  

"I actually said thank God my daughter wasn't here," Catherine Whalon said.

But, parents are relieved staff and police followed protocol, and resolved the scary situation, safely.

"I just wish it never happened, but you can never be too safe nowadays," Whalon added.

Police are going to take the footage from the 40 video surveillance cameras that are on campus, and make a training DVD. And rest easy knowing visitors still have to be buzzed in at the front door, to be let in the school any time, day or night.

 

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