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Wed., Oct. 7
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Fort Drum soldier accused of causing Indian River school lockdown


A Fort Drum soldier has been arrested for allegedly making a threatening remark that resulted in all Indian River Central School District buildings being locked down briefly Wednesday morning.

Caleb J. Larson, 22, was charged Wednesday with making a terrorist threat, a Class D felony. According to a brief Jefferson County Sheriff’s Department news release, Mr. Larson made a threatening remark Saturday to a parent of children in the district.

He was arraigned in LeRay Town Court and held at the Metro-Jefferson Public Safety Building on $50,000 bail.

The Indian River schools were put into lockdown after district offices reported a threat that an unidentified person with a gun possibly was headed toward the Evans Mills Primary School.

Jefferson County Undersheriff Paul W. Trudeau said the phone call came “from an upset person” who made a threat to the school. Law enforcement went into “active shooter” mode, but that soon was lifted after investigators determined that there was “no gun, no shooter and no one harmed.”

County emergency 911 dispatchers reported to responding officers that the alleged threat was heard by a cafeteria worker over the weekend. While there was no apparent imminent threat to the school, limited-access-to-buildings procedures remained in place throughout the day as a precautionary measure.

Several police patrols were sent to the South Main Street school just after 8:40 a.m. after district offices reported that someone “made threats to go to the school and shoot it up,” according to dispatchers.

The district’s school resource officer responded and coordinated through a 911 contact to involve sheriff’s deputies and state police. There was an immediate police presence, and it was determined that the threat could involve other buildings, so the district went into full lockdown of all eight buildings.

District Superintendant James Kettrick said that within 45 minutes it was determined by the police investigation that it was no longer necessary to continue a lockdown and the situation would be handled as an investigation.

At noon, investigators were still treating the situation as an “ongoing investigation,” the undersheriff said, adding he could not provide more information until later Wednesday.

“There’s lots of follow-ups and lots of leads to work on,” he said.

After the building was cleared, two parents pulled their children from the Evans Mills Primary School. The father of a 5-year-old kindergartner, who refused to give his name, complained that school officials failed to tell him what was going on, and he relied on other parents.

“I grabbed my daughter and we’re getting out of here,” the father said before pulling away in a pickup truck.

A parent who did not want her name used because she works for the school district said she also took her daughter out of school after hearing that Indian River High School was in lockdown. She waited at the school office while a staff member retrieved the ninth-grader before the two went home.

“It was scary,” the mother said.

The daughter said she and all other students were made to stay in classrooms while staff checked every room.

“I’m glad to be home,” she said.

State police and Evans Mills village police assisted at the scene.

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