Gunmen prompting school lockdown turn out to be exterminators chasing squirrel

squirrel lockdown

A school in Hot Springs, Arkansas, had quite a scare Wednesday morning as police descended on the property after reports of multiple gunmen, but it turned out there was no real threat, as the gunmen were actually exterminators chasing a squirrel.

Mike Hernandez, Hot Springs School District Superintendent, said one of the teachers at Gardner Magnet School initiated the alert after seeing the three men walking toward the school campus with what appeared to be rifles slung across their shoulders. Within minutes, the school went into lockdown and police had set up a perimeter.

Then officials learned the truth.

“It happened to be a situation where there was a squirrel,” Hernandez said.

Hot Springs Police Corporal Kirk Zaner explained that the exterminators were after the squirrel, which was being a nuisance at a nearby apartment complex, and tried to shoot it with a pellet gun, but missed. At that point, the pesky little thing ran toward the school and the guys, just doing their job, followed, not knowing they were causing a commotion.

“I think they actually thought that when they heard the sirens that there was something else going on,” Zaner said. “I don’t think they ever even realized they were the cause of the police response.”

After about an hour, the school was deemed safe and everything – except maybe the exterminators’ egos – was back in order.

[ FOX 16 ]