MuskogeePhoenix.com, Muskogee, OK

Schools

April 10, 2010

Shots fired near grade school

Muskogee Police locked down Cherokee Elementary School on South 24th Street after students told school officials they heard gunshots fired Friday.

Police Major Reggie Cotton said people in the area reported seeing a gray or silver vehicle taking off and going to an apartment complex on South 25th Street.

Police went to that area but did not find a vehicle of the description given.

“We don’t have any suspects or alleged victims,” Cotton said. “We believe shots were fired in the vicinity of the school, and we are keeping the kids inside for safety’s sake.”

About 3:40 p.m., Cotton said he was going to talk to school authorities and tell them he thought it was safe to let the children go home.

Police scoured the area until they believed any danger was over.

A man who would not identify himself said he saw the gray car leaving the school area, that a black woman was driving and a black man was in the passenger seat. He said some men were in the back seat. He said it was a 1997 model. He also said it seemed to be chasing a blue Chevrolet — an ’84 or ’85 model.

Cherokee Principal Daphne Cotton said the school was on lockdown for about 45 minutes.

“A parent came in and reported that there was a potentially threatening situation,” Cotton said. She would not say if the parent had reported a shooting.

Some kids had been outside flying kites for a class activity, she said. “We had the kids come in.”

During the lockdown, school social worker Peggy Hanson looked for parents of younger children.

“I’ve let parents with little ones go into the school,” she said.

Children started streaming out of the school at around 3:45 p.m. Several parents held them close to their side as they walked.

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