The entire Millswood Middle School campus was on lockdown Thursday afternoon after someone called in to report that a gang-related shooting was going to occur when school was dismissed.
Shortly before 2:15 p.m., Millswood Principal Sheree Flemmer instructed teachers to lock their doors after a caller — who Flemmer said seemed to be an adolescent — called the school to say a drive-by shooting involving gang members would take place on the school grounds.
The shooting, the caller said, would occur when school got out.
"We thought it may be a prank, but we did not want to take any chances," Flemmer said.
The lockdown was lifted at 2:30 p.m.
Lodi police officers, including members from the Special Investigations Unit, were on campus to ensure that all students got home safely.
Reagan Daniel, a seventh-grader at Millswood, said students were nervous when the order to stay indoors came over the loudspeaker.
Daniel said students were asked to huddle in the corner of the classroom, where they were instructed not to move until police gave the all-clear.
"We were a little scared," she said. "We didn't really know what was going on."
Officer Heather Shaw of the Lodi Police Department was standing on Lockeford Street, helping to usher students home quickly.
She said the heavy police presence at Millswood Middle School was to show that a call like the one made Thursday afternoon was not something to be taken lightly.
"This is not a joke," she said as she encouraged middle-schoolers walking by to get home safely and quickly.
The incident is still under investigation, and police are trying to locate the caller.
Thursday's shooting threat is the second violent threat that Lodi middle-schoolers have dealt within a week.
On April 26, a teen called Lodi police at 11:13 a.m. Thursday stating that there was going to be a bombing at the Lodi Middle School, police said.
Students were evacuated by school staff to a field away from the buildings as officers accompanied school employees in searching each room.
Police found no bomb, and on Monday officers arrested three students in connection with filing a false bomb report.
Contact reporter Katie Nelson at firstname.lastname@example.org.