Glenwood Springs High School was put into lockout during the October 6 Homecoming Dance, when a threat of a shooter left the police worried for students safety at the school.
Students were directed into the auditorium around 10 p.m. at the request of police. They were released at 1 a.m. as parents waited in the City Market parking lot but were unable to come into the building. The suspect, now known to be Cesar Esau Membreno, had communications with the police force suggesting that he might start shooting, and the police took it seriously.
”An 18-year-old male showed up to the dance and tried to grab a female who was headed to the dance,” Police Chief Terry Wilson told the Post Independent. “The incident occurred somewhere outside the high school venue.” Wilson also mentioned that the suspect was “robust” in his efforts to grab the student and even tried to pull her into his car.
Students at the dance were ultimately led into the lobby to wait for the lockout to end.
However, many parents felt the lobby area was unsafe because the many windows provided little security if a suspect opened fire. Parents’ concern for the safety of their children promted Paul Freeman, principal of GSHS, relocate students into the theatre, and handed out bottles of Gatorade to the students.
“Students were very thirsty after an evening of athletic dancing,“ Freeman said. “Fortunately we had several hundred bottles of Gatorade on hand. From now on, we will have 1,000 bottles of water permanently stored for use, if needed.”
During the lockout, GSHS was unable to respond to parents’ distress, via infinite campus, due to the system’s restrictions for communicating outside of teaching hours.
When the system was finally overridden and the message was finally sent out, some information was missing.
Parents, meanwhile, weren’t the only ones wishing to hear news about the lockout. Students themselves were unaware to why the lockout had happened, and their questions weren’t answered until the next day.
“I wish we had more information when we were there, even if it wasn’t a lot, “said Isabella Nevin, a sophmore and attendee of the dance.
The lack of information at the dance also started rumors and the somewhat calm atmosphere began to deteriorate. What was initially a light-hearted gathering for the vast majority of students, it soon took on a different tone as the night progressed. The students were making jokes and popping balloons, but the later it went into the night, the more tired and exhausted students became.
“I can tell you that the students comported themselves exactly how we would want them, “ a proud Freeman said. “Their conduct was a source of pride for us and they are a credit to the way their parents have raised them.”