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Pilsen, Little Village, West Loop

Police Forget To Warn School About Training Exercise, Leading To Lockdown During Finals

Whitney Young students spotted a gunman outside, which prompted the lockdown. “This is inexcusable,” the school’s principal said.

Chloe Riley/DNAinfo
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WEST LOOP — A Chicago Police training exercise next to Whitney Young High School caused the school to go on lock down Tuesday during finals when students spotted a gunman outside, the school’s principal told parents.

Principal Joyce Kenner called the mixup “inexcusable.”

Kenner, in an email to parents, said three students spotted a gunman outside the school, under a nearby bridge. She then put the prestigious selective enrollment school on lockdown.

“Our police officers went outside and it was determined the Police Academy next door was conducting a training exercise under one of our bridges. I think this is inexcusable and a disruption to our school,” Kenner said.

Kenner said the school officers would be speaking with the academy and it commander about the incident.

Whitney Young student Christian Alvarez told CBS, which first reported the story, that the school should have been notified ahead of the training especially with the many shootings that have taken place at school campuses. 

Chicago Police said they got a call of a man with a gun at 11:50 a.m. Tuesday in the 1300 block of West Jackson Avenue.

Kellie Bartoli, a spokeswoman for the Chicago Police Department, confirmed a training was taking place outside of the police academy, which sits next to the Whitney Young High School campus. 

Bartoli said there was a person with a gun, who was participating in the training drill.

“The call was cleared immediately when it was determined this was part of academy training,” Bartoli said in an email.

“There was a miscommunication between the Academy and the school. The school will be notified of all outside training in the future,” Bartoli said.

Credit: Mauricio Peña/ Block Club Chicago