GARDEN CITY — Garden City police revealed Friday afternoon the circumstances surrounding the reports of "suspicious activity" that sent Garden City High School into lockdown mode Friday morning for more than two hours.
Around 10:30 a.m. Friday, a school resource officer at Garden City High was notified by a substitute teacher that a person, later identified as a student, came to the door of the teacher's classroom wearing a black ski mask. The teacher reported that the student appeared to be taking photos with his phone.
At the same time, another teacher reported seeing a student in the high school who had been suspended on Tuesday for a weapons violation.
According to public information officer Lana Urteaga, police initially thought the two incidents were related, and the school was placed on lockdown while officers secured the building.
Officers later determined that the suspended student was not on school property Friday and that it was a case of mistaken identity.
Urteaga said it was determined during the lockdown that the person wearing the black ski mask was a 17-year-old male student at Garden City High.
Officers learned that the student had been in class. He left the classroom, put on the ski mask and walked into an adjacent classroom — all to impress one of his friend's in that adjacent classroom, according to Urteaga.
Urteaga said because no physical arrests were made, Garden City police can't release the student's name.
"Anyone who had knowledge of the incident, or the kid with the ski mask, were interviewed," Urteaga said.
She said the case is ongoing and the police department is forwarding the case to the Finney County attorney's office for review, to determine whether any criminal charges will apply.
Urteaga said the school was released from lockdown at 12:43 p.m.
"The reason it took so long is because the school is so big," Urteaga said. "Our main focus is to keep the staff and students as safe as possible, so we take any perceived threat very seriously."