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Gun threat draws aggressive police response

A report of a gun threat triggered immediate response from Columbia County law enforcement Dec. 19.

With Connecticut’s Sandy Hook Elementary school shooting still fresh in many minds, police responded in force to a house off Millard Road in St. Helens.

“We responded pretty aggressively,” said St. Helens Police Lt. Terry Moss.

Squad cars blocked off the road and officers from multiple agencies were at the scene.

Moss said all they uncovered was a dispute over property and several conflicting stories. It was unclear if a gun had been displayed or not, and no one was arrested or charged with a crime.

Law enforcement was directed to stand down not long after the call first came through.

In an unrelated case, St. Helens School District Superintendent Mark Davalos sent out a letter dated Dec. 18 informing parents the school was investigating a report of a weapon in a car at the St. Helens High School Campus. The report was shared with high school administration and law enforcement was called, Davalos said.

The letter said an inoperable portion of a weapon and two empty ammunition cartridges were confiscated from one car along with a small amount of ammunition from another car.

The owners of the cars were not detained by law enforcement and the School District will handle the matter as it relates to the school board’s policy regarding weapons in the schools, Davalos said.

At a school board meeting Dec. 19, Davalos told The Spotlight he had no reason to believe students meant to harm anyone, but he would not comment on the incident any further.