Texts give student’s perspective inside Middleton High lockdown

A Middleton High School student was taken into custody Monday afternoon after reports that he may have a gun spurred a lockdown of the building.
Published: Jan. 24, 2022 at 4:00 PM CST|Updated: Jan. 24, 2022 at 8:04 PM CST
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MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) - A group message thread from a Middleton High School junior that started with her telling her loved ones that she was ready to barricade herself and others inside the school library offers a real-time glimpse into what students were experiencing during Monday’s lockdown.

The dramatic events had actually started moments earlier when police officers came in concerned that a possible shooter may be in the room where she was.

“We had to stand up with our hands above our heads, guns pointing at us with lights,” Maddie recounted, while the lockdown was still under way. “They made us turn around while they individually checked us.”

In a single-file line, students, some of whom were crying and shaking, emerged from the room – walking past six well-armed officers, in the process – before being allowed back into the library again. After assuring her loved ones that she was okay, Maddie explained, in what had to be a scary message for everyone else to read, that she stepped up and was “on deck” to help with the barricade, if needed.

“That means I’d be up against (the) glass and can be seen from the stairs and it’s an open area. But they might need volunteers,” she continued, adding an assurance to her father that she had an eye out for anything heavy with which she could defend herself.

After an invaluable reminder that she loved them, Maddie painted the picture to her family of police officers entering the school armed with rifles. The officers were eventually able to give the all-clear for the room, but that did not mean the ordeal was over. The lockdown continued, and it continued taking its toll.

“I’m literally sitting on the ground surrounded by people who are crying,” she described.

The lockdown, which started around 12:30 p.m. and spread to two other schools, ended a little more than an hour after it began, much to the relief of the students and every friend or family member on the other end of an exchange like this one. There were no reports of any students being hurt as a result of the lockdowns.

A Middleton High School student was taken into custody Monday afternoon after reports that he may have a gun spurred a lockdown of the building, as well as two nearby schools, as officers searched the school and the surrounding area to find him. The 16-year-old student, whose name was not released, was located after approximately 45 minutes and taken into custody, the police statement continued. Middleton Police Capt. Jeremy Geiszler confirmed to NBC15 News that no weapon was found on the student at the time.

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