Riverside-Brookfield High School students were in a “soft” lockdown twice Friday afternoon after someone made an anonymous phone call to the Brookfield Police Department indicating that a former student was armed with a handgun and was going to shoot students.
However, Riverside Police Chief Thomas Weitzel told the Landmark that the individual who was fingered in the phone call was at home with his grandmother in Maywood on Friday afternoon and had no plan or desire to shoot RBHS students.
“He had absolutely nothing to do with it,” Weitzel said. “He knew nothing about it. He was sitting at home watching TV with his grandmother. He played no part in this at all.”
Instead, Weitzel said police are now looking for the person who made the anonymous telephone call to the Brookfield police and believe that this person made a false claim about the alleged shooter because of dispute the two were having about drugs.
“The reason he did that is because he has a disagreement with the guy that he named as the shooter,” Weitzel said. “They’re fighting. We were able to get Facebook postings of these two individuals arguing on Facebook on a drug-related issue.”
Weitzel said his officers are looking for the person who made the phone call. He also stated police know the caller by name, because officers recognized the voice on the audio tape of the phone call.
“We’ve had prior criminal contact with him,” Wetizel said “My detective and [tactical] guys are still looking for him. We do not have him in custody.”
Students were released from RB today at about 3:15 p.m., about 10 minutes later than normal. There was massive police presence at the school with about 25 total police officers from six different law enforcement agencies responding.
Cars were backed up a few blocks west of the school as many parents came to the school to pick up their kids after school officials notified parents of the lockdown.
Students said that there were two different lockdowns. During the lockdowns classroom doors were locked and students moved away from the windows.
At no time were students in any danger, Weitzel said.
An email, text message, and press release school officials sent out saying that a person of interest had been detained was incorrect, Weitzel said. That apparently referred to the Maywood man whom police questioned and concluded that he was of no danger to the students.
Weitzel said that police are providing extra police for Friday night’s home basketball game as an extra security precaution.