UPDATE: Guards seen at Our Lady Queen of Peace and Blessed Sacrament

UPDATED Thursday, October 31, 2013 --- 11:34 a.m.

A parent tells us armed guards are now at Our Lady Queen of Peace.

NBC15 also sent a crew to Blessed Sacrament, and saw a guard walk inside there too.

NBC15 has calls in to officials at the schools and parishes, and will post more details once they are available.

You can read more details on why the guards are there in the stories below.


UPDATED Wednesday, October 30, 2013 --- 12:06 p.m.

The administrator of Our Lady Queen of Peace in Madison has sent a letter to parents about last week's lockdown.

Two armed security officers will be on site during weekdays due to the case.

You can read the entire letter below:

Good morning parents,

As I mentioned in my previous email, the suspect in the case that led to the lockdown of our school last Thursday is expected to make his initial court appearance today. I want to provide you some general information to keep everyone up to date. As always, please feel free to email me with questions. This summary is a response to many inquiries I've received over the last six days.

This incident arose out of a custody dispute involving a family with children in our school. My staff and I have been aware of the case since the start of school and have worked to develop plans that keep all of us informed. As the situation with the custody case changed, our response plans changed.

The suspect involved was supposed to appear in court on Thursday, Oct. 25, on a custody issue. When he did not appear and police became aware of an indirect threat he may have made, the detective in the case called us to initiate the lockdown. We followed our lockdown procedures and secured the school. All kindergarten and middle school children were in their classrooms, where they followed the lockdown protocol. The 1st, 2nd and 3rd graders were on the playground and were brought into their classrooms, where they also were secured. And the 4th and 5th graders were in the lunchroom and stayed there to follow the protocol and be secure. Before the children outside were even fully in the building, Madison police were on the premises with the perimeter secured.

I want to note that these procedures are part of a standing crisis response plan developed initially with parents about 5 years ago and updated this summer.

I understand many people have questions and some misinformation may be out there, so let me address some specifics:
• We have no confirmation that the suspect was ever on QP property. In fact, he may not have even been in Dane County at the time.
• The suspect did have access to firearms. But again, he was never seen here that day, with or without a weapon.
• No threat ever came directly to QP or any of its staff. An indirect threat was part of a communication having to do with the custody case. QP was implicated because his children attend school here and were mentioned in this communication.
• After the building was fully secure, in consultation with Madison police, we moved the 4th and 5th graders back to their classrooms and allowed the middle schoolers down to lunch. The lockdown remained in force throughout the day, and we tried to have as normal and calm an experience as possible for the students.
• Blessed Sacrament also was involved in this case because the suspect's spouse is a teacher there. We were in contact with Blessed Sacrament's school and parish leaders throughout this case.

We are staying up to date with contacts in the Dane County District Attorney's office, the Madison Police, the Dane County Sheriff's Office, and the Diocese of Madison. Here is what we expect today although the situation is fluid and developing:
• The DA's office will be asking for high bail and a bail monitoring program that would include GPS tracking (e.g., an ankle monitor). They also will seek an order barring contact with the spouse, children, QP, Blessed Sacrament and diocesan offices, as well as an order barring access to firearms.
• We do not know what the judge will rule on any of that, but experts have told us they expect bail to be granted in a case like this.

Our plans right now include:
• Two armed security officers will be on site from 7:30 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Monday through Friday. The children in this case are not involved in evening activities at QP, so we will not have security at night.
• If any threat were to arise, security would come from the Madison Police as normal.
• We are reviewing the implementation of our lockdown plan to assess whether we need any revisions. That review will include parent input from the Education Commission.

I will contact you later today after I learn the outcome of today's hearing, so you are aware.

Above all things, my main priority is doing everything we can to ensure your children's safety. I am thankful we were secure last week and ask for your prayers for the family involved, our teachers and staff, and all the children. Incidents like this can be scary, but it was important that we put safety first.

Mr. Mark Quinn
Our Lady Queen of Peace


UPDATED Friday, October 25, 2013 --- 2:36 p.m.

Madison Police say a man who caused a lockdown at a school Thursday is in custody.

Christopher Swatzak was taken into custody in Milwaukee without incident. Madison detectives are on their way to bring him back to Madison, and cannot release any other details at this time.

Our Lady Queen of Peace school went into lockdown as police searched for Swatzak Thursday.


UPDATED Thursday, October 24, 2013 --- 4:31 p.m.

Madison Police are looking for Christopher Swatzak in relation to this incident.

Officers say they have probable cause to arrest Swatzak for domestic stalking.

Swatzak drives a black Chrysler Town & Country Minivan with Wisconsin plates 697NLZ.

Officers ask residents to call police if they have any information on his whereabouts.


UPDATED Thursday, October 24, 2013 --- 3:52 p.m.

Our Lady Queen of Peace school in Madison was put into a lockdown Thursday as a precautionary measure because of a domestic dispute.

Madison Police say two adults were fighting over custody of kids who attend the school.

Parents were able to enter the school if they signed in.


UPDATED Thursday, October 24, 2013 --- 1:41 p.m.
Posted Thursday, October 24, 2013 --- 1:01 p.m.

Our Lady Queen of Peace school in Madison is under a lockdown.

Dane Co. dispatch says that Madison Police search for a wanted person in the area.

Parents are allowed to go into the school as long as they check in.

We'll post more information here as it becomes available.

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