Children at Lincoln Elementary School who’d been on soft lockdown since noontime as a result of police activity nearby were sent home Friday afternoon just a few minutes after their normal dismissal time.

The situation involving an emotionally disturbed person barricaded in an apartment building nearby on Michigan Avenue who was said to have access to weapons remained unresolved at school dismissal time, but police concluded it was sufficiently contained to let the dismissals proceed.

Update: Police announced at 6:35 p.m. that the 900 block of Michigan Avenue was secure. But police said the investigation was continuing.

A police officer in SWAT gear escorts a student past police tape near the incident scene. (Jeff Hirsh photo)

Kimberly Cochran, who has a second grader at Lincoln, said she was satisfied with the information provided by the police and the school district during the incident and believed the soft lockdown was appropriate given “an abundance of caution” in light of “the world we live in these days.

Another parent told Evanston Now’s Jeff Hirsh at the scene that her child told her they had been kept in from recess Friday “because it was too windy” and that the children apparently weren’t told about the lockdown.

Parents and kids outside Lincoln School (Jeff Hirsh photo)

Initially police asked all District 65 schools to go on soft lockdown during the incident, but as dismissal time drew near, they released the lockdown for all except four schools closest to the incident scene in the 900 block of Michigan Avenue.

The police also sent officers to the schools as a precaution at dismissal time.

The incident brought a massive response of police, including a regional SWAT team unit and officers from other nearby communities.

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

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