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Lockdown Lifted At Hackettstown Schools, Centenary College After Threat ‘Unfounded’

Hackettstown school lockdown

The lockdown of Hackettstown, N.J. schools was lifted at around 2 p.m. on March 26, 2012, after reports of a gunman nearby were said to be unfounded. (Photo: CBS 2)

HACKETTSTOWN, N.J. (CBSNewYork/AP) — lockdown at a Centenary College and several Hackettstown public schools was  lifted Monday afternoon after officials determined a reported threat was unfounded.

The lockdown was imposed Monday morning after a man called the Warren County communications center around 9:45 a.m. and claimed he was armed with an assault rifle and was in the woods behind Hackettstown High School.

The lockdown was lifted around 2 p.m. after officials determined that the students, schools, and community were safe following a search of the area behind the high school.

As CBS 2’s Christine Sloan reports, parents used cell phones to stay in touch with kids, as police and SWAT teams members arrived.

“I’ve been talking to him, keeping communication with him every 15 to 20 minutes,” parent Keith Brenner said.

After the threat was deemed unfounded, students with cars were let out first. Some said they couldn’t even go to the bathroom.

“They made us sit in our classrooms and locked us in there,” Brieanne August said.

“We were actually sitting against the wall in the gym. There was people outside telling us there was possibly someone like a gunman around the school,” Tom O’Mara added.

“There were students who did need facilities. We tried to make sure they could access them,” Superintendent Bob Gratz said.

Sean Brenner got a big hug from his mom when he got out and a kiss from his dad.

“Very much relieved now,” Keith Brenner said.

Sean Brenner said he was so scared he tried to get out.

“I said I’m going to take a chance and run for it but then I got dragged back. If you hear a guy is running around with an AK-47 you’re gonna want to leave, too,” he said.

The investigation is ongoing.

(TM and Copyright 2012 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2012 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)