Austin Public Schools were placed on lockdown late this (Wednesday) morning due to a threat.
The Austin Police Department, via Mower County Dispatch, received a call at approximately 11:20 a.m. Wednesday morning reporting an active shooter at Austin High School. Chief of Police Dave McKichan stated in a news release that while the department was aware of same or similar incidents occurring in other jurisdictions, it did not alter their response to this type of call. The Austin Police Department and Mower County Sheriff Office staff quickly deployed to the high school to assist the site School Resource Officer. Chief McKichan stated that authorities were first able to check the specific location they were given to ascertain that no incident was ongoing at the spot, before fanning out and covering the entire school to ensure there were no issues elsewhere. McKichan stated that a final detailed sweep was then conducted, and the school was taken out of lockdown at 12:22 p.m. Wednesday afternoon.
Chief McKichan went on to state that they do believe the incident may be linked to other similar incidents at other schools around the state Wednesday, including Rochester Lourdes, Rochester Mayo, Mankato West, New Ulm and Cloquet, and he indicated that the caller was likely not from the Austin community. McKichan added that the department would dedicate additional resources towards school safety throughout the rest of the day Wednesday, and through the remainder of the week.