Gunfire near school sends students into lockdown; here's what we know

·2 min read

MILLVILLE — A preliminary police investigation of a Friday morning firearms incident outside the Thunderbolt Academy, an alternative high school, shows one shot was fired from the 600 block of North Fifth Street.

Chief Ross Hoffman stated a suspect fled on foot, and no one was injured.

That block of North 5th Street is across the street from the academy, which is in the Memorial High School at 504 East Broad St.

Hoffman stated officers went to the academy at approximately 9 a.m. on a report of "shots fired." The school had followed emergency lockdown protocols because students had arrived at the school, he said.

The district released academy students to go home at 12:15 p.m. Friday. Other district schools continued with their normal dismissal times.

Police ask anyone with information to contact them at (856) 825-7010.

Earlier, schools Superintendent Tony Trongone said school officials including district security, police, and Cumberland County detectives were at the Thunderbolt Academy.

"Out of an abundance of caution, the district made the decision to place all schools in a Shelter in Place when the incident was reported," the district announced just after the incident. "The Shelter in Place has since been lifted and teaching and learning is proceeding as normal in our school buildings. There is no direct threat to any of our schools at this time. We will share more information as it becomes available."

Thunderbolt Academy describes itself as "a transitional school for students who have experienced behavioral difficulties adapting to a traditional school environment."

"As these students have been referred from their home school, it is Thunderbolt Academy’s mission to ensure that they return to their home school in a timely manner demonstrating marked improvement in behavior, attendance, and academics," the statement adds. "Because we believe that all students can and want to succeed, we provide a program called CARE, which serves K-8 students within a smaller learning community and uses appropriate social-emotional learning strategies to develop pro-social skills, coping mechanisms, and mindfulness application."

Joe Smith is a N.E. Philly native transplanted to South Jersey more than 30 years ago, keeping an eye now on government in South Jersey. He is a former editor and current senior staff writer for The Daily Journal in Vineland, Courier-Post in Cherry Hill, and the Burlington County Times.

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This article originally appeared on Cherry Hill Courier-Post: Millville shooting today: Gun shots near high school, no injuries