An unofficial active shooter notice forced at least one school to go on lockdown last Tuesday.
Golden Harvest International School Tuesday confirmed that they went on lockdown following a notice from Gordon Salas, Department of Community and Cultural Affairs supervisor for the Child Care License Program, regarding a reported active shooter situation in the Gualo Rai area.
Saipan Tribune learned that the active shooter threat on Gualo Rai was a false alarm. Specifically, the incident involved a robbery that was erroneously reported as an active shooting incident.
Salas told Saipan Tribune Tuesday that he issued an unofficial notice based off an unofficial active shooting report to all 25 service providers under the program out of an “abundance of caution.”
He noted that the unofficial active shooting situation report came from outside of the government, however, just to be safe, he notified the service providers under the program through WhatsApp messages at around 12noon and an email soon after regarding a “possible active shooting incident.” He further added that going on lockdown was a part of their procedure to defend against an active shooter.
“The active shooting incident was never validated but in an abundance of caution we notified everyone to take precautionary measures,” he said in an interview. He further noted that a secondary notice lifting the threat was not issued since they did not receive validation for the initial active shooting incident.
Golden Harvest principal Jennifer Reyes told Saipan Tribune that they went on lockdown after receiving news of an active shooter threat from Salas. She further noted that it was cleared before 1pm. There are over 50 students in the school.
At least one other school,Northern Marianas International School, went on alert but didn’t go on lockdown.
DCCA Secretary Robert Hunter noted that a lockdown was the standard procedure to such a situation.
“…That is the procedure and every one of these incidents that happen…as soon as we get a notice, [the daycares] go into lockdown,” he said. “[A relative of mine] goes into one of [the daycares] … and I know that [going on lockdown] has happened a couple of times over the last year,” he continued.