A report of an active shooter at Fulton Middle School on Friday proved false, according to school and law enforcement authorities.
"No student got hurt," Callaway County Sheriff's Deputy Jackie Karhoff told a group of worried parents outside the middle school. "Nobody's hurt at all."
Fulton Public Schools Superintendent Jacque Cowherd said several Fulton High School students were interviewed by police. A release from the Fulton Police Department stated three FHS students were detained following an investigation into Friday's events. The names of the arrested students were not released.
Shortly before 12:20 p.m., the Fulton Police Department received a 911 call reporting a gun at the Fulton Middle School, Cowherd said.
"Those folks locked down, per our procedures," he said.
Officers of the FPD converged on the scene within 60 seconds, followed by backup from the CCSO and Missouri Highway Patrol, and swept the building, finding no sign of a weapon or of shots being fired, FPD said.
"In the process of the review, the police tracked the phone call to the high school," Cowherd said. "They deployed half of the officers to the high school and determined where the phone was. My understanding is that the caller is in custody."
He said the high school was also briefly on lockdown. Text messages went out to parents, notifying them of the lockdown.
Meanwhile, relatives of students gathered outside the middle school, many texting with children inside the building.
"My niece was flipping out so bad. She sent text messages to her mom and dad saying, 'If I don't see you, I love you,'" Fulton resident Crystal Lesieur said.
Kimberly Davis said her nephew called her and said there was a shooter at the school. She said he's told stories to get out of going to school in the past, so she was doubtful until he put on a friend to back him up.
"At 12:15, he said he needed to hang up, but he'll be texting with me," she said. "His last text was five minutes ago."
Shortly after 12:45 p.m., Karhoff came out and announced to parents there was no evidence of a shooter.
"We're conducting an investigation into what happened and why it happened," Lt. Dall Hedges told parents at about 1 p.m. "That's why we're all still here."
He told parents and guardians they could pick up students, but no one would be allowed inside the school. Those gathered passed around a sign-out sheet, and officers began escorting those children out of the school.
By 1:30 p.m., the all-clear was official.
"Right now, I'm feeling relief that the children are OK," Lesieur said. "It's really scary. Fulton is a small community, so we all know each other. My friends have students here, and I'm worried about the staff, too."
She said she felt officials handled the situation well.
"When asked about what's going on, they answered as best they could and kept us updated," she added.
Cowherd said extra counselors would be made available to students at the middle school as needed, and extra police officers would be stationed at the middle and high schools Friday afternoon. He added Monday is a professional development day, so students have a three-day weekend ahead of them.