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South Colorado Springs elementary school evacuated after report of armed woman

November 2, 2017 Updated: November 2, 2017 at 2:14 pm
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Law enforcement carry guns as they cover the Stratmoor Hills Elementary School as it was evacuated following a bus monitor that saw a woman with a gun on her hip walk into the school and Harrison School District spokeswoman Christine O'Brien said only about 15 kids were in the school Thursday morning November 2, 2017 in Colorado Springs and all have been safely evacuated. (Photo by Dougal Brownlie, The Gazette).

An El Paso County elementary school was evacuated and closed Thursday morning after reports of an armed woman walking inside, but no threat was found.

A bus monitor told the sheriff's office that he saw a woman with a gun on her hip walk into Stratmoor Hills Elementary school on Loomis Avenue, according to Patrol Commander Clif Northam of the Sheriff's Office. The woman was not said to be brandishing the weapon, which was in a holster, he said.

Deputies and dogs searched the school but did not find anyone. They also reviewed surveillance video but "there was nothing that indicated a person with a weapon," Northam said.

He said it's possible that the monitor mistook a large cell phone for a weapon, or that a parent wore it into the school by accident.

"Hopefully thats the case, but we have to check," Northam said. He added that if it were an honest mistake, charges would be unlikely.

Though Northam said the bus monitor was "pretty sure of what he saw," no one else reported seeing the woman, and deputies did not find a woman on surveillance matching the description the man gave: a short woman wearing a gray shirt, gray sweatpants, and wearing a gun in a holster on her hip.

The Sheriff's Office's Twitter feed first reported the threat about 9 a.m. Thursday.

Harrison School District spokeswoman Christine O'Brien said about 15 children were in the school when they ordered an evacuation. Stratmoor is a year-round campus and was on fall break through Friday, which is why only a few students were there attending half-day programs.

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Contact Kaitlin Durbin: 636-0362

Twitter: @njKaitlinDurbin

Facebook: Kaitlin Durbin

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