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Missoula High School Locked-Down After Alleged Threats

Missoula's Hellgate High School
Josh Burnham
Montana Public Radio
Missoula's Hellgate High School

Missoula police detained three juveniles Thursday afternoon following an alleged threat of violence that led to an hour-long lockdown at Hellgate High School.

Police spokesperson Lydia Arnold says three juveniles are being questioned.

“The police department is going to be working in coordination with those juveniles’ parents for additional questioning regarding the incident today.”

Arnold says the incident unfolded just before one o’clock.

“The threat had come from some students reporting that they had overheard a student talking about a potential school shooting.”

Arnold says the threat suggested a student with a firearm was planning “some sort of event that was going to take place at 1:30.”

The Hellgate School Resource Officer relayed that information to police and helped school administrators initiate a school-wide lockdown.

A heavy police presence including FBI, U.S. Marshals, Probation and Parole, Missoula County Sheriff’s Office, and Montana Highway Patrol helped city police establish a security perimeter around the school and surrounding neighborhood.

Students, staff and teachers barricaded themselves in their classrooms and offices until the all-clear was given around 2:30 p.m. No injuries were reported.

Missoula County Public School officials tell Montana Public Radio that Hellgate classes will resume as scheduled tomorrow. No additional police presence is anticipated.

O’Brien first landed at Montana Public Radio three decades ago as a news intern while attending the University of Montana School of Journalism. His first career job out of school was covering the 1995 Montana Legislature. When the session wrapped up, O’Brien was fortunate enough to land a full-time position at the station as a general assignment reporter. Feel free to drop him a line at