Gun reported at Tony Hillerman Middle School was a cellphone

·2 min read

May 6—It turns out a gun reported at Tony Hillerman Middle School on Thursday morning was a cellphone, police say.

The report resulted in students being sent home for the day and a large multi-agency police investigation. No one was injured, authorities said.

Monica Armenta, a spokeswoman for Albuquerque Public Schools, said that, around 7:45 a.m., a teacher at the school on Rainbow NW told police she had seen a student holding what appeared to be a gun.

Students were evacuated and the Albuquerque Police Department, New Mexico State Police, Bernalillo County Sheriff's Office and APS police responded. Tactical units swept the classrooms looking for threats.

Rebecca Atkins, an APD spokeswoman, said the investigation found a gun was not brought into the school.

"Through statements from students and after reviewing video surveillance, it was determined that three students were speaking in a courtyard when one student pointed a cellphone at the other two as though he was holding a gun," Atkins wrote in a news release.

"A teacher saw the encounter and believed she saw the student holding a gun."

Armenta said the nearby Tierra Antigua Elementary School and Volcano Vista High School were put on lockdown during the incident, but classes continued.

As the investigation unfolded, worried parents and others waited in front of a church about 200 yards from the school, some of them praying.

Debbie Gonzales said she got a call from her daughter, Cadence, at 8:04 a.m.

They were supposed to have some sort of drill this morning, but they notified them that there was a gun on the premises, or shooter, Gonzales said.

"I kind of panicked," she said.

She said her daughter, a sixth-grader, called back about 15 minutes later to let her know she and other students had been moved to the Volcano Vista parking lot, and then to the baseball field.

"The day and age we're living in, this isn't necessarily as uncommon as it should be," Gonzales said.

Journal photographer Adolphe Pierre-Louis and city editor Martin Salazar contributed to this report.