Avery-Parsons lockout

Buena Vista Police Chief Jimmy Tidwell directs law enforcement stationed outside Avery-Parsons Elementary School Thursday afternoon during a lockout of district schools in response to reports of a suspicious person.

The Buena Vista Police Department placed BV schools under a precautionary lockout Thursday afternoon in response to a social media post making a threat towards schools.

According to a news release issued by BVPD chief Jimmy Tidwell Monday, BVPD received a tip from the Lake County Sheriff’s Office about the post.

No specific school was mentioned in the post, Tidwell said, but LCSO found that the person making the post lived in Buena Vista.

Thirty-six law enforcement officers responded to the schools during the lockout, Tidwell said. Personnel from the Salida Police Department, Chaffee County Sheriff’s Office, Division of Parks and Wildlife, Colorado State Patrol, Buena Vista Fire Department and Chaffee County EMS, as well as off-duty BVPD officers responded to the call, Tidwell said.

The person who made the threat was identified and detained, then later released after cooperating with the investigation, Tidwell said.

“It was determined that there were no criminal offenses committed in Chaffee County and that there was no danger to citizens at any time,” Tidwell said in the release. LCSO conducted a concurrent investigation of the incident, he said.

Tidwell said that “in the initial stages of the investigation, information on the person of interest was limited, and the assistance of the many law enforcement resources that came to assist the BVPD and the schools was invaluable in providing additional security, thus freeing up officers to engage in follow-up investigation and tracking down leads.”

BVPD received information about 2 p.m., Nov. 14, “from another agency concerning a social media post concerning schools.”

That the information came from LCSO was not made public until Monday.

The release states BVPD made the decision to go into a lockout “due to the nature of the post.” Details were not released Thursday.

“The students were in no danger at any time and the Buena Vista Police Department is assisting in the investigation with another law enforcement agency involved in the case,” the release concluded.

Morgan said that further information would be released about the case in the future.

No further information was provided in the initial BVPD release Thursday.

The Buena Vista school district notified parents about 2:54 p.m., Thursday, that Buena Vista police had put the schools in lockout. The text and phone notifications stated the schools will dismiss on time with officers on duty to escort students.

Avery-Parsons Elementary School principal Judy Lynn told parents gathered on the front lawn of the school Thursday afternoon that the lockout was called due to reports of a person in the area who was deemed to be a possible threat.

Lynn said that students were safe and would be released at the normal time. The only class period the students missed that day was recess, she told parents.

Law enforcement officers from BVPD, the Chaffee County Sheriff’s Office and Colorado State Patrol were stationed outside the elementary school to escort students to their parents cars. Police were on duty to escort students at all schools, according to the school district.

Students who walk or ride to school must be picked up by their parents, according to a text and phone alert sent to families.

Salida district schools were also placed under a brief lockout Thursday in response to the Buena Vista situation.

The lockout in Salida was announced to parents at 3:12 p.m.. At 3:48 p.m. the district announced it would be releasing students at the normal time, the Mountain Mail reported.

Salida superintendent David Blackburn said that school resource officers opted to institute the lockout as a precaution.

Mountain Mail staff contributed to the story.

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