Nobody hurt, no gunman found at Kiel High School after report of shots fired

Posted at 8:17 AM, Mar 23, 2018
and last updated 2018-03-23 17:15:19-04

KIEL, Wis. -- Nobody was hurt and no gunman was found after a report of shots fired near Kiel High School, police said.

Officers were called to the school Friday morning after a staff member inside the school said she heard gunshots outside the school. The building was evacuated as a  precautionary measure, but no threat was found.

"It could have been fireworks, it could have been a gunshot," Kiel Police Chief David Funkhouser said. "It could have been any number of things. We're checking those layers of possibilities. We certainly take everything as serious as possible. The students and staff safety is our highest priority."

All classes have been canceled for the day. Police say officers were already on high alert due to a threat of violence reported earlier in the week.

Police investigated a threat of a planned shooting for Friday but found no credible evidence to back it up. They still planned to have an increased presence anyway. As such, they got to the school in less than a minute. 

A large emergency response was spotted at the school  Friday, parents tell TODAY'S TMJ4 sister station WGBA-TV. Students on buses were rerouted to New Holstein High School.

One retired resident less than a block away from the school says he's familiar with hearing gunshots in the area because there are three trap ranges within about a mile of his home. The Police are taking every possibility into account.

"[The staff member] is an experienced hunter," Funkhouser said, referencing that the staff member who reported the gunshot knows what shots fired sound like.

"But it's not normal to hear that type of sound, even in a rural environment or in a school environment. A calm environment and you hear that sound, we encourage our people to call it in. Not to second guess, especially with the heightened security alert. That staff member did exactly what we train them to do and exactly what we want them to do," he continues.

At the same time,  Lakeshore Technical College, about a 20-minute drive east of Kiel High  School, was placed on "preventative lockdown" after reports of a  "perceived threat near campus." All Friday classes and events have been canceled.

Kiel Area Schools Superintendent Dr. Brad Ebert says he anticipates schools being open on Monday. 

Kiel is located about 25 miles northwest of Sheboygan, in Calumet and Manitowoc counties.