Hunters’ gunshots near Verona schools prompt soft lockdown, police say

Three Verona schools were placed on soft lockdown Friday morning after a parent reported hearing the echo of gunshots nearby, according to an email from the district.

“We wanted to inform you that this morning at 8:48 a.m., Stoner Prairie Elementary, Verona Area International School and Savanna Oaks Middle School were under a Level 1: Building Secure,” the email sent to parents said.

The Fitchburg Police Department was contacted and investigated the situation as a precaution, according to the release.

Fitchburg police told News 3 the gunshots parents heard came from goose hunters on a property across the road from the school. Officers said the hunters were not in any violation of hunting rules, and the soft lockdown at the schools was lifted around 9:10 a.m.

A Level 1: Building Secure means there was a possible threat outside of the schools and external access to the buildings were secured, officials said.

District officials said they followed protocol and had police investigate the incident before lifting the soft lockdown about 10 minutes later.