Potential threat prompts soft lockdown at Brainerd High School

Incident similar to other reports statewide during the past 24 hours of threats being called into Minnesota high schools.

A Brainerd Police Department squad car in front of Brainerd High School.
Brainerd High School was in a soft lockdown Tuesday, Feb. 28, 2023, after school officials received a call about a potential threat.
Steve Kohls / Brainerd Dispatch

BRAINERD — Brainerd High School went into a soft lockdown Tuesday, Feb. 28, after officials received a report someone may be bringing a gun to the school.

A statement to Brainerd School District families from Superintendent Heidi Hahn said the Brainerd Police Department received a phone call at 11:41 a.m. of an individual who was going to the school with a firearm. Police responded to the call, along with officials from the Crow Wing County Sheriff’s Office and other emergency support.

The building was put into a soft lockdown until law enforcement could confirm the campus and building were secure.

Principal Andrea Rusk said there was no immediate threat to students or staff but declined to comment further on the situation. She said her priority was taking care of whatever was happening at the school, and referred questions to Brainerd Public Schools administrators.

Brainerd Police Deputy Chief John Davis also declined to comment, saying information to the public will come from the school district.


The building resumed normal operations at 12:11 p.m., Hahn said in her emailed statement.

The Bureau of Criminal Apprehension and the Brainerd Police Department are investigating the source of the call, which is similar to other reports statewide during the past 24 hours of threats being called into Minnesota high schools, Hahn wrote in her statement.

“Out of an abundance of caution, we will continue to have law enforcement presence around and in our building,” Hahn wrote. “We are grateful for the quick response of our local law enforcement and our students and staff for following emergency protocols.”

A similar instance of a phone-in threat happened Monday at Bemidji High School, the Bemidji Pioneer reported. Law enforcement in Bemidji determined the call to be a hoax that was part of a larger swatting event that has hit other high schools in Minnesota and across the United States.

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