RENO, NV - Several schools were caught in the lockdown during Wednesday's Reno manhunt at Sutro and 9th. Most of the schools were a few blocks away, but one was right in the middle of it.
Police had to get creative when evacuating the Head Start school on 8th Street. Making sure those children were safe was the number one priority, but getting them away from the scene was difficult.
11:15 am is usually the time many of these parents pick up their students from Head Start.
"Cops everywhere, SWAT team everywhere, ambulances, it was just chaotic," said Tatiana Calzada, a Head Start parent trying to get to her child.
But on Wednesday, September 3, 2014, the school, with dozens of young children, sat immediately across the street from a building police believed to be a threat.
"I asked a couple guys and they said there was somebody who opened fire and the police were searching for the guys," said Sergio Zecena, another Head Start Parent.
The school was in lockdown. No one was allowed in or out, except for the SWAT team that made sure everyone was safe. Parents waited patiently, but getting their kids back would take some time.
"As soon as we can, we try and actually have them removed and we do that as safe and tactically as we possibly can," said Lt. Nate Parker with the Reno Police Department.
The question was how to do it safely when there could be an armed criminal on the loose.
"I like how they did that. Safety comes first, especially with the kids," said Benjamin Harris, a Head Start parent.
What they ended up doing was creative. It turns out those armored vehicles used by the SWAT team are pretty good at transporting kids.
"The armored vehicles are just that. They are armored. Were there to be some type of a threat situation, they would be protected that way," said Lt. Parker.
The kids were taken out of the threat zone, transferred to RTC buses a few blocks away, then taken to their parents. "I am just happy to have my kids," said Harris.
Parents ended up waiting about 3 hours but when their kids were returned safely, they had no complaints.