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Tonasket school lockdown lifted following arrest

— Students returned to normal school activities Thursday afternoon following the lockdown of the K-12 campus and arrest of a local man carrying a pellet gun.

Devin Martinez, 18, was booked into the Okanogan County Jail on suspicion of possession of a dangerous weapon on school grounds.

Tonasket Police Department Chief Rob Burks said the school campus – which includes the elementary, middle and high schools -- was locked down about noon after officials received a report of a man with a handgun walking toward the campus.

Martinez was located outside the building by school officials and turned over to police, Burks said. Nobody was injured.

Superintendent Paul Turner said parents were notified of the shutdown via the school’s electronic message system.

They will also receive printed copies of the notification, he said.

Police, the Okanogan County Sheriff’s Office, fire and ambulance crews, and U.S. Border Patrol responded.

This is the second time in less than four years that Tonasket schools have been locked down.

The campus was locked down May 3, 2010, when an unidentified parent allegedly made inappropriate comments to a third party about unsafe things he could do on campus.

The lockdown was the second in the county in as many months.

Okanogan schools were partially locked down Sept. 17 while deputies arrested a woman on suspicion of stealing a pistol from a vehicle in Okanogan. The woman was arrested about a block from that school.

See the Oct. 30 issue of The Chronicle for more details on the Tonasket incident.

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