Dolores schools locked down Thursday

A 24-year-old Dolores man was arrested March 21 and schools were placed on lock down for a short time after a shot was reportedly fired and an attempted suicide was reported.

Montezuma County Undersheriff Robin Cronk said last Friday that the incident occurred just after 3 p.m. and the Dolores schools, including the Teddy Bear Preschool, were placed on lock down because the home where the incident occurred was across the street from the schools.

"It was a safety measure," he said.

The incident got a lot of attention because parents were just beginning to arrive at the schools to pick up their children at the end of the day. The schools were placed on lock down from about 3:15 until just after 3:30.

The call originally came across as an attempted suicide and one shot was fired into the ceiling, Cronk said. Once deputies arrived, the 24-year-old man was arrested and charged with violations of bond, reckless endangerment and child abuse charges related to the fact that a child was nearby when the gun was fired.

Two guns were confiscated, a 22-caliber rifle and a 12-guage shotgun.

"Luckily no one was hurt," Superintendent Scott Cooper said.

Cooper was quick to point out that Frank Lopez and Scott Gee heard the calls for help and acted quickly, running to the apartment, securing at least one gun and calling 911.

It took law enforcement about five minutes to respond.

"They said it was the longest 10 minutes of their lives," Cooper said.

Once the lock down occurred, students, staff and teachers acted quickly, locked doors and got out of sight. At the Teddy Bear Preschool, students hid in bathrooms with teachers and in other classes students hid under desks.

Nobody was injured in the incident and the new district-wide computer call system was used to inform parents of the incident. If you didn't get a call, Cooper said to contact the office because that means the school district doesn't have a correct number.

But, word of the lock down spread quickly among parents, who were calling the district and sending out text messages.

"The lines were jammed and we couldn't get through to each other," Cooper said. "We need radios, so that doesn't happen again."

Cooper also said that parents should wait for word from the district so the phone lines will not jam.