Two Greymouth schools and a daycare centre were placed in
lock-down at lunchtime today after students reported seeing
an armed man wandering around.
Armed police swarmed the area and placed cordons around the
school and everyone was warned to stay indoors.
West Coast police area commander Inspector John Canning
confirmed there was an incident in progress and both John
Paul II High School and St Patrick's Primary School were in
He said students reported seeing a man at a house, across the
road with a gun.
Mr Canning said the schools were "totally closed as a
precaution", but stressed that everyone was safe.
About 1pm police began evacuating students from the schools.
Neither school could be contacted. Police were also seen
searching empty classrooms and the surrounding grounds.
Four canine units from Nelson had also been called in to
support the Greymouth police.
A number of concerned parents arrived at the cordon about
1pm, worried about their toddlers at the nearby Barnados Day
A spokeswoman from the daycare centre told the Greymouth Star
that the police had informed them something was amiss and
told them to keep all the children inside.
A worried parent of a John Paul II student contacted the
Greymouth Star just after 1pm concerned about what was
happening saying that her child had contacted her by
cellphone to say that all students had been ushered into the
A 21-year-old man was later apprehended and taken into
No shots were fired, police said.
- By Viv Logie of the Greymouth Star