Frisky felines, not gunshots, caused school lockdown

A report of shots fired last week that sent the small Gateway School into lockdown was deemed to have a more innocent explanation: mating cats.

Mesa County sheriff’s deputies were called about noon Thursday after the principal of the roughly 30-student, K-12 Gateway School, 42575 Colorado Highway 141, reported that a student was shooting a .22 caliber rifle across the street from the school, according to an incident report.

It was reported that the student put the rifle in a white car and left the area, while the school went into “shelter-in-place,” a heightened security step.

Three teachers reported what sounded like gunshots from the home, although none said they witnessed any shooting. One of the teachers told a deputy she saw someone walk out of the home and place a .22 rifle in the backseat of a car, which was parked in a driveway.

An 18-year-old student who lives at the home had recently been suspended from the school for an alcohol violation, and the boy’s mother was “irate” at the school, according to the report.

Deputies retrieved the rifle and determined it hadn’t recently been shot.

Instead, they learned somebody at the property had set off several small firecrackers “to get their cats to stop mating in yard,” the report said.

“Upon looking in the yard we located numerous new firecracker wrapping to support this,” a deputy wrote. “We also found the cats to be actively engaged with each other.”

The “shelter-in-place” precaution was lifted; the report said staff at the school was “accepting” of the deputy’s findings.

“At this time, no charges to be filed,” the report said.

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