OLATHE, Kan. — Many Olathe East students are still waiting to be reunited with their families Friday after a school shooting.
Police said a student suspect shot a school resource officer and an administrator before the officer shot the student. All three were injured but are expected to survive.
Amid the chaos, approximately 2,000 Olathe East students went on lockdown in the building.
Hours later, as of 12:30 p.m., senior Joe Zinn told FOX4 via phone that his class is still under that lockdown in their classroom. He said they’re waiting for police to come move them to the gym where they’ll be sorted into bus groups and eventually reunited with their families.
Around 10:30 a.m. Friday, gunshots rang out in the office area of Olathe East. Across the school, Zinn said he and his classmates were in advisory hour, a study time for students. He was heading back to class from the bathroom when school leaders came over the intercom, telling all students to return to class.
“It was nothing urgent at first, and they were just telling the teachers to check their emails,” Zinn said.
The Olathe East senior said he went to grab some friends who were at the vending machines. Still, no one was panicking yet at his end of the school building, he said.
“Nobody really heard anything or was acting like anything was crazy,” he said.
He said friends in the commons area near the office later told him they didn’t hear any gunfire either.
But later, more calls came over the intercom, Zinn said.
“The principals are starting to sound really shaky, like they sound really worried,” he told FOX4. “Everyone knows something is going on. We’re just waiting for some confirmation.”
With his advisory teacher growing worried, Zinn said they eventually ended up blockading the classroom door. They gathered in a back room of the art classroom that’s dark and safe, he said.
“I was a little worried. I was wondering what even happened, who was hurt, who got hurt.”
Zinn said they waited there until they got word from the principals.
“There was a lot of people crying and kind of panicking,” he said. “It was kind of a hectic scene for a little bit, but eventually everybody calmed down after we realized nobody died.”
But still as of early Friday afternoon, Zinn said they’re still waiting for more information and to be reunited with their families.
“We knew all the cops were inside … they’re all just going to come to our door and take us out into the gym and separate us into drivers, bus takers,” he said.
“I’m not really sure what else we’re going to do from here. We didn’t really hear anything.”
The district is asking parents and guardians to stay away from the school.
The Olathe School District said parents who normally pick up their students need to pick them up at California Trail Middle School at 13775 W. 133rd St. Students who walk home from school will also be bussed to that school.
Students who ride the bus home from school will be bused home from Pioneer Trail Middle School.
The district said student drivers will be released in a staggered order and escorted to their cars.
Students who ride special education buses will ride home from Olathe East like normal.
Administrators and law enforcement will facilitate reunification as quickly as possible, according to the district.