Park Hill quick to enact safety measures as search for homicide suspect moved nearby

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- As police searched for a south KC shooting suspect in a triple homicide that also critically injured two others, the Park Hill School District reacted quickly, locking doors and keeping students inside as the search moved north.

With the reported gunman thought to be nearby, Park Hill schools wasted no time ensuring students and staff members were safe. At about 5:30 p.m. administrators employed what they call a "hold" - meaning all exterior doors were locked.

That falls short of a lockdown - where interior doors lock as well and students hide. The hold was ordered at five district schools, plus the aquatic center and district office. Administrators say even though Park Hill High School had let out for the day - the campus was filled with students there for club meetings, sports practice and two games for volleyball and tennis.

Many parents were also around to watch those games - and were allowed to come inside. The hold was lifted around 7:15 p.m. Parents and students alike felt the district responded properly.

“I felt safe inside the school because the doors were all locked, there were security guards walking around, police officers," freshman Nathanuel Rice said.

“I guess I was a little bit worried, but it seemed so organized, and everybody was on top of the situation that I really wasn't too concerned,” parent Tom Welsh said.

After the hold was lifted, parents and students were allowed to stick around for the sports games. But as a precaution, police asked they keep the front doors locked. The search for the homicide suspect persisted into Tuesday night.

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