Police from multiple agencies cleared the Winooski school complex without locating their suspect Thursday evening after reports of an armed man on the premises.
Winooski Police Chief Steve McQueen said the response came after a Milton Police canine unit tracked a reportedly armed home invasion suspect moving in the direction of the schools. A 911 caller at the schools reported seeing an armed man inside, so Winooski police called other agencies for assistance.
McQueen said he believed everyone involved in the home invasion case knew each other. Despite the fact that a potentially armed suspect was still at-large, McQueen said there was no continuing threat to public safety.
Armed police tactical teams along with at least six K-9 units worked to clear the school and an adjacent daycare. Police tactical vehicles surrounded the buildings, which include the high school and middle school.
Police from almost every municipality in Chittenden County responded to the incident, as well an officer from as far away as Newport, who said he was already in the area for canine training.
Update 11/14 9:50 p.m.: Gov. Peter Shumlin issued the following statement about the events in Winooski:
“I was kept updated tonight on the situation at Winooski High School by Vermont State Police. Although we are still awaiting all of the details, I am thankful that this incident ended as it did and it appears that no armed individual actually entered the school. This was a scary situation for the students, staff, and families involved. I appreciate the swift response from law enforcement officers throughout the region. I am proud that the adults and students in the building reacted calmly, followed protocol, and were safely escorted from the building. I thank all of those involved for their response to this potentially chaotic and difficult situation.”