NCS locks down after report of nearby gunman

Cary Ashby • Oct 29, 2015 at 12:09 PM

Norwalk Catholic School (NCS) was on a lockdown Friday after the report of a male pedestrian on Whittlesey Avenue with a shotgun.

Amy Hurst, the director of early childhood education, received a tip about the alleged incident from police just after 9 a.m. She said the dispatcher provided the information so she could lock down the NCS Early Childhood Education Center.

"One of the dispatchers called the building and my secretary talked to her," Hurst said.

NCS President Walt Klimaski said the male suspect was believed to be near a Whittlesey Avenue grocery store about three blocks east of the school.

"They told her (Hurst) they couldn't find anybody," Klimaski said.

Norwalk Police Chief Kevin Cashen said authorities will not continue to search, and there's no need for citizens to be concerned; in all likelihood, the man was probably going hunting, Cashen said.

Hurst said several officers responded to the business parking lot and searched "all over for a long time after that." She also mentioned that police searched St. Paul Catholic Church because it is open during the day. It also was on lockdown later.

The lockdown, done for the remainder of the school day, was done for safety purposes. Klimaski explained that the NCS procedure involves having all the doors secured, but students still change classes.

"Nobody is coming in and out of the building," he added.

At the State Street building, Hurst said the outside doors and classroom doors, with the students inside, are locked during lockdowns. Staff members are notified immediately, she explained, but the students aren't told the reason for the procedure because they are 3 to 5 years old.

"Everybody handled it very well," Hurst said.

Klimaski said lockdowns are done whenever there is an "outside threat concern."

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