Reports of a man with a gun shut down a Redding elementary school Friday morning.
Turtle Bay School which was locked down at 10AM after police got reports of a suspicious man with what looked like a gun on a nearby walking trail.
Police and CHP helicopters searched the area and quickly determined there was no threat to the school.
Parents were alerted via an automated message that everything was clear.
Still, they say their hearts drop when they get these alerts.
“Well, you know you never think anything's going to happen in your area, or you hope that is doesn't,” parent Lacey Hough said. “And then you know when something's not right, it just makes your heart sink and it's horrible.”
Police say what was thought to be a man with a gun may have just been a homeless person with a walking stick.
“There are a lot of people who are transients that hang out in that area and walk through there,” Redding police lieutenant John Poletski said. “And so somebody said they had seen something. And we have no idea what they did or didn't see, but we'll take the precautions to make sure everybody's safe.”
With active shooter scenarios becoming increasingly common across the country, Poletski says you can never be too cautious.
“We want to be proactive in those situations,” he said. “We don't want to think afterwards, we should have done this.”
And even though Hough is relieved Friday's lockdown turned out to be a false alarm, the terror her child experienced is all too real.
“This is the second time it's happened in less than a week, that there's been a lockdown at the school,” Hough said. “And to see her reaction and for her to be scared is what I think makes it seem exponentially real.”