Conflicting stories frightened Nikiski students and parents yesterday afternoon as the middle/high school and elementary school went into lock down around 12:30pm. Troopers were looking for a suicidal male in the area, though they said he didn’t make a threat against the school and wasn’t wielding any type of weapon.
Nikiski parent Destinie Burleson said she was first contacted by her high school children…
Burleson: “I got a text from my daughter and she said: ‘We’re on lock down, this is not a drill. We don’t know what’s going on.’ But she was crying, she said: ‘I’m terrified.’ And then we got an email from my son, he’s a 7th grader, about a half an hour later, and he said: ‘We’re on lock down. I’m terrified. Kids are crying, we’re very upset.’ And then we got another text from my daughter, my husband called the school and they said there’s not a threat to the school, but there was a threat to the school. A situation. That’s what they told my husband.”
Nikiski Middle/High School was the first to be secured, after Troopers received a report around 12:25pm.
One local Trooper told us they had little information to go on, and had sent an officer to the school when it was believed the man had a connection to the building.
At 2:30pm the School District sent a media release explaining the schools were in lock down and students would be released to their buses or parents.
Burleson said they want the School District to provide more information up front…
Parent 1: “Nobody was talking to us.
Parent 2: “Nobody specified.
Parent 1: “Nobody specified [what was going on]. I’m like, Mr. Bostic, I know you’re… what’s going on?
Burleson: “There’s a flaw in the system. I think that if there was a lockdown, it was a frustration, because the only way we were able to even know that something was happening was because our daughter texted us.”
The School District responded thoughtfully to the feedback, saying they use these situations to improve their response in the future.
As of yesterday evening, Troopers were still searching for the man, who was described as a white adult male with dark hair. He was last seen driving a 1998 dark red extended-cab Dodge Dakota with a dented driver’s side door. The licence plate ends in ’396.’ Anyone with information is asked to contact Troopers by calling 911 or 262-4453.