by Travis Mateer
After making a public comment about public safety at the Public Safety Committee, I returned to a more pressing matter of concern: the threat that led to Missoula County Public Schools system to go on FULL lockdown at Hellgate High School, and SOFT lockdowns in every other school, including the two schools my three kids attend.
You’re probably wondering, what the hell does the Easter Bunny has to do with this threat to public safety? I’ll get to that in a moment, but first let’s take a look at what was reported yesterday:
Active shooter threats sent Hellgate High School into a multi-hour lockdown on Wednesday, prompting three female juveniles to be detained as persons of interests in connection to the threats.
There is no longer an active threat to the public, according to a press release from the Missoula Police Department, and officers are no longer seeking anyone else after the three people of interest were detained.
Calls came in to dispatch about the threats just before 10:30 a.m. Wednesday
“The reporting party advised the threat was sent over a social media platform, where a firearm was involved and was confirmed through a credible source,” the police press release stated. Missoula police along with law enforcement from other agencies and Missoula fire and medical officials surrounded the block, setting a perimeter and canvassing the school that sits along South Higgins Avenue.
This article contains the most recent LANGUAGE update about what happened, and by that I mean the the word CUSTODY was updated to the word DETAINED. Isn’t that nice? How about next we get some helpful details, like WHERE these girls were when they were “detained”?
This is where the Easter Bunny enters the story. Or, to be more specific, the PERSON wearing the Easter Bunny costume and getting paid not nearly enough money to be a furry springtime Santa with chocolate eggs.
I approached the Easter Bunny inside Southgate Mall because I couldn’t find the kiosk where mall security usually posted up, but that damn bunny didn’t break character for a second. Thankfully, a short, older woman (not an elf) came over and told me the security kiosk is no longer there, but she would be happy to call the security person.
The mall is where that local newswire known as “the grapevine” said a SWAT vehicle was seen earlier in the day. Did I confirm those three persons of interest were “detained” at the mall? Not yet, but I did call the manager of the mall and left a message. So far, I haven’t heard anything back.
Some other noteworthy things worth mentioning include the noon walk out students at Hellgate High School were organizing yesterday for students who don’t feel safe, and the introduction of the term “soft lockdown” to my kids vocabulary of institutionalized fear.
This NBC Montana piece does a little more with details by describing a location where the persons of interest were NOT found (emphasis mine):
The search of a private residence was executed where the individual of interest was not located.
A little further in the article we get closer to that elusive “where”, but, still, nothing (emphasis mine):
The Missoula Police Department acted on information provided from the public, located, and detained three juvenile females as persons of interest regarding the threat at Hellgate HS. The Missoula Police Department is no longer seeking a person of interest as previously stated.
Is there an actual reason for law enforcement to be withholding the location? I can’t think of one, as it pertains to public SAFETY. But if we’re talking about public RELATIONS, well, that’s something else.
I know the Southgate Mall once feared the future POSSIBILITY of blight, since I was talking to Monica Perez yesterday about it during our recorded podcast conversation, but now I’m starting to wonder if the Ohio investment group that now owns our mall might ALSO be afraid of bad publicity.
Before this incident I was already weary of how the mall is used by wayward youth, but now I’m VERY weary, especially if it turns out the mall is where these girls were detained yesterday.
And maybe THAT is why this little detail is being left out of local news reports about a threatening girl expressing lethal intentions and pictured here with a smiley face on her forehead:
I feel absolutely terrible about what our culture is doing to our kids. I have a lot of thoughts on this that I’m going to withhold for now, but I’ll be watching how this particular threat plays out, and what kind of information the authorities deem appropriate to tell the public about.
If you appreciate my independent journalism, please consider supporting Travis’ Impact Fund (TIF), or making a donation at my about page. Speaking of my TIF, report #3 will be posting later this morning, so stay tuned and, as always, thanks for reading!