By Jeff Todd
DENVER (CBS4) An attempted robbery between classmates at East High School put the campus in lockdown for a few hours Thursday afternoon.
Denver police say a student is under arrest after demanding money from another student and brandishing a weapon during their encounter. Police later found it was a BB gun replica of a real gun. Because hes a juvenile the suspects identity was not released.
East High went into lockdown around 1:40 p.m.
Our teacher was able to open the window; we were on the first floor. We were able to just get out and we walked over here, said one student outside of the police perimeter.
Police investigated the possibility of a person with a gun at East High School (credit: CBS)
SWAT members responded and swept the school looking for the weapon. Other uniformed officers immediately entered the school then remained with students until the lockdown was lifted around 3:30 p.m. Parents gathered outside texting with their kids and waiting for information.
They just said lockdown and we all got in the corner, said Patrick Berzins, a student at the school.
East High School (credit: CBS)
Students say they were sent into the auditorium. School was actually dismissed at 1:15 p.m. but many students stayed on campus to work with teachers.
When it first happened everyone wasnt sure if this was a drill or real, said Berzins, whose parents were waiting to pick him up when officers arrived. People were tense and it was really quiet but we kind of knew everything was going to be good.
As scared as we were it was very reassuring. (Denver Police) had people in the building, said Patricks father Mark Berzins. Im sure there will be some people who say its heavy handed. I thought it was super appropriate.
Jeff Todd joined the CBS4 team in 2011 covering the Western Slope in the Mountain Newsroom. Since 2015 hes been working across the Front Range in the Denver Headquarters. Follow him on Twitter @CBS4Jeff.