Police continuing to investigate reports of shooting at Highline campus

Detective assigned to follow up with witnesses.

Police on Wednesday continued to investigate an incident at Highline College last week that led to a nearly three-hour lockdown on campus.

At about 8:52 a.m. Feb. 16, the Des Moines Police Department received multiple reports of shots being fired on the campus, 2400 S. 240th St.

“Initially, there were conflicting reports as to the exact location of the reported shots on the campus,” according to a media release from the Des Moines Police Department.

The campus went into lockdown at 8:57 a.m.

“Remain in lockdown — This is not a drill,” the college posted on its Facebook page. “Police are responding and evacuating buildings. Remain in lockdown position. We will update you as further details become available. This is an unfolding situation.”

First responders from multiple law enforcement agencies, federal and state agencies and fire and emergency medical service personnel responded the call.

The first officers to arrive did an initial sweep of the campus and did not locate a shooter, any victims or any evidence of a shooting, according to the release.

SWAT units from multiple agencies searched every building on the campus to look for any potential victims.

Des Moines Police Cmdr. Doug Jenkins said in an email on Tuesday the case had been assigned to a detective.

“We are re-contacting all of the 911 callers as well as people who have submitted tips or provided other information,” he said. “Once the investigation is complete, I will put out a media release with the results of the investigation.”

Classes were canceled for the remainder of the day after the lockdown was lifted at about 11:45 a.m. Campus operations returned to normal on Tuesday, after being closed Monday for President’s Day.

“Faculty, staff and students who were on campus that day are still processing,” Lisa Skari, Highline’s vice president of institutional advancement, said in an email. “We have counseling staff for students and additional resources for employees to help work through trauma.”

Skari said the lockdown was a first for the college outside of drills.

“The college is very pleased with how things went on Friday,” she said. “We have made plans and done drills for years, but until you are actually implementing the plans, you don’t know how well they work. The faculty and staff did an amazing job of securing themselves and students, and the responders were there in just a few minutes. All in all, we couldn’t have asked for a better outcome, all the way around.”


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