Students at Heretaunga College have been released from school after a man seen carrying a firearm was caught by police.
Principal Bruce Hart said students were given the all clear to leave school grounds about 3.30pm after police caught the suspect and the firearm he was spotted with was found to be a replica.
"It appears to all be over. We put the school into lockdown and kept the kids out of the way while we followed police instructions. But I've been told the person was apprehended."
Police communications senior sergeant Martin Tunley said police had located the firearm at a nearby address and it turned out to be a BB gun or air rifle.
"We believe it was a youth from a nearby address but we are just carrying out enquiries to establish exactly which youth it was. So it was not as dangerous a weapon as we first thought."
The kids and teachers all responded well during the incident, and remained "calm and collected" while police were on scene.
Police communications senior sergeant Martin Tunley said a teacher at Heretaunga College saw a man on the grounds holding what looked to be a firearm just after 2.30pm.
She immediately ensured all students and staff were inside and called police, Mr Tunley said.
A second teacher had also sighted the male, who was described as wearing a grey hoodie, around 5'8" and of solid build.
A parent of a Heretaunga pupil said her daughter was texting her from inside the school while they were in lockdown.
The deputy principal was "very upset", particularly as it was the second to last day for senior students before they went on leave for exams.
In March this year, a disgruntled pupil left a nail bomb in a toilet, forcing an evacuation of a classroom block.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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