Parent concerned about lockdown process after Herkimer County shootings


HERKIMER, N.Y. (WKTV) - Herkimer parent David Foster spent 25 agonizing minutes not knowing where his four-and-a-half-year-old son, Ethan, was on March 13.

That is the morning an unstable gunman shot six people at two locations in Herkimer and Mohawk, killing four and wounding two.

Ethan attends pre-k at Herkimer.

Chaos and concern the morning of the shootings jammed phone lines and Foster's couldn't get a call through to anyone to learn his son's whereabouts; whether he was still in school or had departed the building on a school bus for daycare.

Foster finally learned his son had arrived safely at the daycare center and, in talking with Herkimer Police, he says he learned there are different levels of lockdown in most schools.

"The last response I got from the captain in Herkimer he says there's five different levels of lockdown. I didn't know that. Nobody else knew that either. And he tried to explain to me level one, this and that, level two," says Foster.

Herkimer Central School Interim Superintendent Theodore Karwyga says that there is no playbook in terms of definitions. Rather, the school staff acts in accordance with the information they have at the time.

"I don't know if I would do the same thing again the next time because it would depend on the information I have at the time to make the decision," Karwyga said.

In case of the shooting, it was police who ordered the district to go on lockdown and the Superintendent carried out the order.

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