Scottsdale Police have concluded an investigation that locked down Cocopah Middle School Wednesday, after an early-morning report that a gunman was spotted on the property.
Search teams were on campus, at 66th and Cholla streets, for a handful of hours in response to a cafeteria worker’s report that she saw a man in a long coat carrying a firearm, nearly two hours before classes were to begin.
“She reported that there was a man in long black coat, long hair, who she saw on campus who had a pistol with him,” said Sgt. Mark Clark. “There were no children on campus at the time.”
By 10 a.m. authorities had cleared the scene and students were sent back to Cocopah for an even shorter school day. Cocopah is scheduled for a half-day, with classes ending at 11:30 a.m.
The incident comes days after a massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn. left 20 children and six adults dead.
“There’s a lot of angst and anxiety about what happened back East,” said Clark. “Every square inch of the school has been searched and there is no intruder.”
Neighboring streets were been blocked off. Parents dropping off children were diverted to a nearby church, then to Chaparral High School’s auditorium.
Police spoke with several construction workers on the job nearby, who said they didn’t see anyone with a weapon.
Chaparral students tweeted that their school was also on lockdown.
lockdown during finals and cocopah in our auditorium #meow
— Hannah Beard (@hannah_beardd) December 19, 2012
Cocopah staff was on-site at the high school to supervise its students and answer questions for parents.
Parents at Sequoya Elementary School, at 64th Street south of East Cactus Road, were on alert, as well, according to one parent’s tweet.
KTAR’s Jim Cross contributed to this article.