UPDATE: Berean Baptist School student speaks out after lockdown

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Updated 10:15 p.m.

UPDATE: ROCKFORD, Ill. (WIFR) -- Berean Baptist School sounds the "all clear" after a report of a possible shooter inside the school earlier this afternoon.

"Our teacher pulls up her phone, and she just starts saying, run run run get outside," said Berean Baptist School Hayden Merrick.

What started as a normal school day for Merrick ended in panic.

"We get there and everybody's asking, is this a drill? And then we hear the sirens and everyone's coming," said Merrick.

Right before 3 p.m., police got reports of a possible male shooter who was spotted inside the school.

"People started crying because they had all these brothers and sisters in elementary school and we didn't know if they were okay," said Merrick.

In less than two minutes, police arrived and students were sent to a nearby school for pickup.

"I got in the car and came as quickly as I could," said Merrick's mother Jeanine Shumaker.

From security camera footage, investigators discovered that the threat was only an umbrealla that someone had mistaken for a weapon.

"It was a sigh of relief, but your emotions are still high so you still feel panicked. I just know that when his teachers let him out the door, that things were okay," said Shumaker.

While it was a false alarm, investigators say they are happy that someone acted on their suspicion.

"That's exactly what we want as police is if we see something, say something because we would rather it turn out this way than have it be something and not get called," said Deputy Chief for the Winnebago County Sheriff's Office Dominick Barcelona.

"I felt better that nobody had gotten hurt or anything," said Merrick.

"Gratitude, I guess, is what I feel at the end," said Shumaker.

A statement from Berean Baptist Christian School reads:
"Though the threat today that caused the lock down was false, we thank the lord for his protection over our school family. We give thanks to the many police departments who responded and were at our location within seconds. the response of the berean staff and teachers was competent and based on much training for incidents like this."


Updated: 5:10 p.m.

UPDATE: ROCKFORD, Ill. (WIFR)- Winnebago County Deputy Dominick Barcellona confirmed that no gun was found.

Barcellona said a female walked into Berean Baptist Christian School with an umbrella.

Barcellona said he feels relieved to have the situation cleared.


ROCKFORD, Ill. (WIFR) -- Rockford police say the situation at Berean Baptist Christian School is "all clear" and the situation is "secure."

Several law enforcement agencies responded to reports this afternoon of a suspicious person at Berean Baptist Christian School in the 5600 block of Safford Road in Rockford.

Initial reports suggested an armed person at the school, which prompted a large police presence in the area.

Berean schools shared a message via Facebook:

"Our school has been secured by the Rockford law enforcement agencies due to a report they received. There are no reported injuries from any student or staff member. Every student has been accounted for and has been transported to a secure location. At this time we are cooperating with law enforcement to ensure a safe and proper procedure. Parents, we will keep you posted as to when we will dismiss."


ROCKFORD, Ill. (WIFR) -- Parents of students at Berean Baptist Christian School are being let through to park at Anna Page Park to meet up with their children.

Rockford police and the Winnebago County Sheriff's Office are responding to a situation at the school after reports of a possible gun inside around 3 p.m.

According to a tweet by Rockford police, investigators say there is no confirmation of anyone with a gun on campus but plenty of officers are responding.


ROCKFORD, Ill. (WIFR) -- The Winnebago County Sheriff's Office says all available personnel are responding to reports of a suspicious person at the Regional Learning Academy in the 5000 block of Safford Avenue.

An administrator at the Regional Learning Academy says the school is on lockdown right now but cannot confirm a reason.

There are reports of a large police presence near Berean Baptist Church off of Safford Avenue in Rockford.