Olympia detectives have interviewed a man who fits the description of a person who was reportedly carrying a rifle near two local schools Tuesday morning, March 12, and said the "long black object" in his hand was in fact an umbrella, according to Olympia police.
Three Olympia schools were put on lockdown Tuesday morning after police were called at around 7:45 a.m. about a man wearing a ski mask and black clothing, walking in the direction of Roosevelt Elementary School and carrying a "long black object" believed to be a rifle.
Olympia police, Thurston County Sheriff's deputies and Washington State Patrol troopers were called to the search. A Lewis County Sheriff's Office search dog was brought to the scene to try and track the man.
Security video obtained later from a transit agency showed a man boarding the bus within minutes of the original 911 call. The man fit the description of the suspect - dressed all in black, with a black stocking cap, and had a long black object in his hand. The object was identified as an umbrella, not a rifle as earlier reported.
"While it was a false alarm this time, we still appreciate the call," said Olympia Police Chief Ronnie Roberts notes in a press release. "It's important for people to call us and report activity that could affect public safety."
Roosevelt Elementary School and Reeves Middle School were both put on lockdown before classes began, making for a delayed 10:25 a.m. start for students.
Bus routes were also delayed, and buses with students already on board were taken to the Olympia Regional Learning Academy, formerly known as Rogers Elementary School.
Read more here: The Olympian