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On Friday, March 23, the City responded to a possible active shooter at Terry Middle School. Mesquite Police, Fire and Emergency Management responded to the situation quickly and effectively. All Citizens should be proud that our first responders and school staff were trained for this situation and that plans for securing the school and reuniting students with their parents worked.
There are many concerns being raised by citizens about this incident. Now that our investigation is complete, we would like to share the information that we have about Friday’s incident.
The initial response was initiated by a call of possible gun fire in a field near the school. Witnesses observed a student walking toward them from the same area and stated that he appeared to be pointing something at them. Fearing the student had a gun, the witnesses ran into the building and the school was placed on lockdown. During the lockdown, the student was detained and later interviewed by investigators. The student admitted to pointing a cell phone at other students as if it were a gun. His intent was to alarm the other students and claims he did not have a gun in his possession. Based on his admission of making threatening gestures toward other students, the student, a 13 year old male, has been taken into custody and charged with Exhibition, Use or Threat of Exhibition or Use of a Firearm.
Several searches of the school and surrounding area have been conducted by police personnel and specially trained canine units. These searches occurred on Friday during the lockdown through Saturday afternoon. No weapons or devices capable of producing the sound of a gunshot were located.
While no weapon was found related to this incident, it is important to understand the responsibility we have for the safety of the public. The response and following actions on Friday were necessary to ensure the safety of the students at Terry Middle School and their wellbeing has been our highest priority. The City appreciates the cooperation of the students and parents during this incident which allowed for an orderly and thorough investigation.