Douglass Memorial School

LOWER TOWNSHIP — The Municipal Hall and David C. Douglass Memorial School were placed on lockdown Tuesday afternoon because of a report of a person with a shotgun, according to a Lower Township Police Department press release.

The shotgun turned out to be a nail gun, police said. A man in the area was working on a project in his backyard.

"This identification has been confirmed by the person reporting the incident," police said.

A call came in at 2:49 p.m. Police conducted an “extensive search,” but the report could not initially be substantiated.

Police were stationed in front of the school during the lockdown, which lasted about 20 minutes, Lower Township Superintendent Jeff Samaniego said.

Officers stopped nervous parents from approaching the school, Samaniego said, as he tried to explain the situation to them.

“I was in the parking lot trying to settle them down, (to say) that it wasn’t the school, it’s a couple blocks away,” he said.

Once the threat was cleared, parents and buses started picking up children just before 4 p.m. Students are normally picked up about 3:30 p.m.

Reached by phone Tuesday afternoon, Samaniego said he was relieved.

“But I was more impressed with my staff, keeping the kids calm — especially preschool and kindergarten kids — and safe,” he said. “I was even more impressed with the Lower Township Police Department. (They were) here in less than a minute.”

Contact: 609-272-7260 Twitter @ACPressColtShaw

Contact: 609-272-7241 Twitter @ACPressMollyB

Staff Writer

I cover breaking news on the digital desk. I graduated from Temple University in Dec. 2017 and joined the Press in the fall of 2018. Previously, I freelanced, covering Pennsylvania state politics and criminal justice reform.

Staff Writer

My beat is public safety, following police and crime. I started in January 2018 here at the Press covering Egg Harbor and Galloway townships. Before that, I worked at the Reading Eagle in Reading, Pa., covering crime and writing obituaries.

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