UPDATE: No one is in custody following early morning lockdown at UTHS
No one is in custody following this morning's lockdown at United Township High School.
East Moline received a phone call at 8:42 a.m. this morning saying an armed suspect was going to take some type of action at UTHS. At that time, UT and surrounding schools in East Moline were placed on lockdown as a precaution as officials investigated the validity of the threat.
School Superintendent Jay Morrow says they have been cooperating with the East Moline Police Department on how they could best communicate with parents.
"Shortly before 9 a.m. this morning our school resource officer informed our school principal that a threat was received via telephone to East Moline Police Department," Supt. Morrow said. "Based on the information that was presented to us we were on immediate lockdown per our standard operating procedures."
During the lockdown, TV-6 was confronted by concerned parents who were upset with the school's response. Supt. Morrow said they put out a robocall shortly before 9:30 - 10 a.m. alerting parents they were coming off of lockdown. Classes resumed around 10:20 a.m.
The East Moline Police Chief John Reynolds said they did send a robocall prior to the lockdown being lifted saying in part this was a very "fluid" situation.
"If you don't put information out, then you're getting criticized," Chief Reynolds said. "If you do put information out, you're getting criticized. So what we're trying to do we're trying to determine what's in the best interest of the students, of the drivers in the area, the traffic, the neighbors. It was a determination was to have a lockdown, try to get that information out, assess the threat and then once we determined there was no immediate threat, then we would let them know the lockdown was over. School is back to normal."
Police said at this time no one is in custody and they are actively investigating the situation and having multiple people check the recording of the call made this morning.
"Nobody has been arrested," Chief Reynolds said. "A few people may have been identified as they're walking around school but nobody has (been) taken into custody."
You can watch the full press conference below.
Police will hold a press conference at 11:30 a.m. at the East Moline Police Department.
We will live stream on our Facebook and on our website.
The East Moline Police Department have just released the lockdown has been lifted.
Parents were told at the fairgrounds near the school that they were allowed to go to the east side of the building to pick up students from a school administrator.
TV-6 was told by administration that students were allowed to leave without facing penalties, however, they had to be picked up by a parent and no one else.
Statement from the school:
"We received an external threat this morning and made the decision to go on lockdown. We are working with the East Moline Police Department to assess the situation. Students are safe and in their classrooms at this time. We are unable to allow anyone in the building and unable to allow anyone to leave at this time. Thank you for your cooperation and we will provide an update as soon as we have one."
Officials with the school tell TV-6 no one is being allowed in or outside of United Township High School.
We are working to gather information on where parents can go if they are wanting to pick up students. At this time, information is very limited. Some parents of students in the high school are telling us their children are safe inside. Parents are telling TV-6 their children are texting or calling and saying they're in locker rooms, or in classes and they are safe in the school.
Or Chief Photographer says multiple people are lined up on 42nd Avenue with concerns about their loved ones inside the building.
Our crews on scene tell us that Archer Drive and Avenue of the Cities is blocked off due to the police scene.
This is a developing story and we are hoping to update this as more information becomes available.