Gun alert sees armed police swoop on city school

Thorpe St Andrew High School. Picture: Steve Adams

Thorpe St Andrew High School. Picture: Steve Adams

A high school was put on red alert following reports of a person with a gun in the playground.

But luckily it was just pupils playing around with a prop gun thought to be borrowed from the drama department. 

Armed officers descended on Thorpe St Andrew High School on March 2 after a call from an alarmed neighbour who mistook the youngsters' game for a serious incident. 

But when police arrived at around 3pm they were met by confused and embarrassed students. 

Pupils and their parents were relieved to hear the report was a false alarm. 

One mum, whose son attends the school, said: "The first I heard about it was in the group chat me and some other mums have.

Armed police were spotted outside the school, talking to a member of the public.

Armed police were spotted outside the school, talking to a member of the public. - Credit: Hanna Preston

"Luckily my son was already home but I was obviously concerned for the other parents I knew and their children.

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"Some were saying there were armed police at the school and rumours had already started going around.

"A few of the mums were calling the school and they got a text back quickly with an e-mail to reassure everyone it was a false alarm.

"It's definitely not a nice situation to be in - I was panicked but I think the school responded very well.

"I'm glad my son left when he did - I can't imagine how some parents must have felt."

Hanna Preston was driving past the school at the time the incident happened and watched the chaos unfold.

She said: "The police were on the opposite side of the road, directly opposite the school entrance.

"There were six 4x4 SUVs, a dog unit and two fully kitted-out policeman.

"I actually have a child who's just accepted his place to start at Thorpe so naturally I was concerned.

The firearm was reported at Thorpe St Andrew High School in Laundry Road.

The firearm was reported at Thorpe St Andrew High School in Laundry Road. - Credit: Google Maps

"But I was very happy to see how many attended the scene and seemed to be handled well by them."

A police spokesman said: "Police were called to Laundry Lane in Thorpe St Andrew shortly after 3pm yesterday, following reports a person had been seen in the area carrying a black handgun.

"Firearms officers attended and conducted a search of the area.

"Following further enquiries, an imitation black handgun used as a filming prop was recovered by officers."

Thorpe St Andrew High School declined to comment further.