Police record search in detail for teenager who sparked lockdown at Middleton school

MIDDLETON, Wis. (WMTV) – Police records obtained by NBC15 Investigates show how the search for a Middleton High School student unfolded, following a report from a staff member to a school resource officer that the student could have had a firearm on campus.

On January 24, the report triggered the immediate lockdown of three schools in the district, but according to the principal, no weapons were found on or near campus. According to law enforcement, no weapon was found on the student either.

At the time, authorities said a teenager had been released after being taken into custody with a dismissal for disorderly conduct.

After a request for open records, the Middleton Police Department released notes from its computer-aided dispatch system, known as CAD. This is a log reflecting agents’ rough notes of what they heard and saw at the scene in real time.

The minute-by-minute account begins shortly before 12:25 a.m., when notes show officers responding to a “possible active shooter situation.”

The log continues, describing what appear to be agents searching inside the school. Around 12:30 p.m., information comes in about a black sweatshirt, gray pants and a black backpack, a possible description of a suspect.

At first, reports indicate the subject is in the library, then in a secure room. At 12:39 p.m., the notes suggest that the topic “reported to school is wrong…” The redactions leave the rest of the sentence blank.

Then officials move the command post to the school’s main office at 12:41 p.m. A source with nearly two decades in another law enforcement agency told NBC15. The move means authorities believe the school is safe.

Officers check license plates and attempt to contact different people. They have a “visual over Maywood and Bristol”, referring to the intersection outside Middleton High.

Within the minute, at 1:16 p.m., the police note “SUBJ 10-95”, which implies that the suspect is in custody.

Later in the log, at 1:22 a.m., police say there is “no recovery of a 10-32 at this time.” According to NBC15’s source, the code means a gun was not found, confirming what Middleton police said a month ago.

On Friday, NBC15 Investigates also spoke with the mother of the student whom police took into custody. She said it was a ‘traumatic’ experience for her family and her child had been transferred to another school.

Meanwhile, the family waits for a social worker from Dane Co. to complete an assessment of the student’s strengths, needs and risks, then present it to prosecutors.

Dane Co. Juvenile Court Administrator John Bauman explained how the findings could impact the coming days.

“That recommendation could be for a formal court case and then the court is scheduled after that,” he said. “The decision could [also] be a Deferred Prosecution Agreement, which is an informal agreement outside of the court system. Or it could be a lawyer and a release, which does not include either of these two [options].”

Bauman also said that in his experience, referrals from social workers are supported by the district attorney most of the time, but every case is different.

NBC15 Investigates is awaiting a response from the Middleton-Cross Plains Area School District as some critical questions still remain unanswered. This includes what the staff member said to the school resource officer that triggered the police response.

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Brandon D. James