Police say 'suspicious person' who prompted school lockdowns was parent

UPDATE: Woodland Park lockdowns lifted

WOODLAND PARK, Colo. - Woodland Park High School and Gateway Elementary were locked down Wednesday afternoon (2/12/14) while police investigated a report of a suspicious person in the area.

School District RE-2 said a man in his 30s was seen in the area with camouflage and a backpack.

On Thursday, February 13, 2014 police told KRDO NewsChannel 13 that the "suspicious person" has been identified as a parent.

Woodland Park City Manager David Buttery said the same man was seen near the high school on Tuesday and was asked to leave.

The lockdowns went into effect at 2:50 p.m. and were lifted at 4:15 p.m. 

A student who left school early said he walked within feet of the man.

"I had early release and I got out a class period before everyone else," said Woodland Park High School student Drew Bealby. "I couldn't see his face and I just, I kind of thought it was kind of awkward, he was just standing there quietly but I didn't really think much of it."

Bealby said he did not see a weapon on the man. Woodland Park police would not say Wednesday if officers believed the man was armed.

The district began releasing Gateway students at 3:43 p.m. Police didn't give high school students the all clear until 4:15 p.m.

Bus routes were impacted by the lockdowns. The district says they were adjusted to pick up Summit students and would be approximately 45 minutes behind schedule.

"Of course you're very scared. My son is at the middle school right now, you get a little worried about the safety of your child," said Woodland Park School District Spokesperson Stacy Schubloom.

Virginia Johnston babysits a first-grader at Gateway Elementary School. Her grandchildren also attend the school. She said police and school administrators did the right thing.

"They immediately took the precautions to keep the children safe and that's all that mattered," said Johnston. "If they have the children on lockdown then the police have everything under control and I wasn't worried. I'm willing to wait as long as my children are safe."

Police spent hours searching for the man that prompted the lockdown. Police would not say if he was in custody.

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