Three Ken-Ton Schools held in "lock-out" as police check out gun report

Feb 11, 2013

Schools in the Kenmore-Tonawanda district were placed in a "lock-out" mode Monday morning as a precautionary measure.

The lock-out began around 7:30 a.m. when Tonawanda Police received a call from a concerned citizen claiming a suspicious person may have been carrying a black handgun.  

Tonawanda Police Lieutenant Nick Bado tells WBFO News the incident happened at the Tim Horton's and Mobile gas station at the corner of at Colvin and Highland in Kenmore.

"And it appeared as if this guy had a gun in his hand, and as they passed in the parking the subject said 'lock and load," said Lt. Bado.

Information was immediately dispatch to the Ken-Ton School District. The lockout mode limited access into the schools.  

"We were not able to locate anyone matching that description.  Due to the proximity to the schools, we wee sent officers to those locations.  There's a high school, Kenmore West and St. John's nearby," said Lt. Bado. 

Tonawanda superintendent of schools, Mark Mondanaro, was in contact with Town of Tonawanda Chief of Police Anthony Palombo regarding this matter.

The Superintendent directed that the schools closest to the intersection were in “lock-out” meaning individuals trying to gain entry into the schools would not be allowed.  As a precautionary measure, the superintendent indicated a “lock-out” protocol to the Hoover Complex, Kenmore West, and Lindbergh.

Lindbergh School on Irving Terrance
Credit WBFO News photos by Eileen Buckley

The school district issued a statement saying "All the district all of the schools had been notified to remain vigilant in their building security protocols. No further action was recommended to the District by the Police Department and the District was to be notified if the individual had been found. Patrols remained in the area."

The District did have an early release day Monday and normal procedures were followed for the

Additionally, an email/text alert was sent out alerting parents of the situation and for those closest to the schools a letter was forthcoming explaining the action.

The letter has been posted at the school district website. 

Outside Kenmore West High School on Highland
Credit WBFO News photos by Eileen Buckley

The man is described as a white male, 60 to 70-years old with a white beard, wearing a gray sweatshirt, jeans and baseball cap.   An investigation continues.  Video surveillance is being examined.