Axtell student arrested during lockdown
A Wednesday afternoon lock-down at Axtell Public School has left many shaken and one student under arrest.
According to USD No. 113 Superintendent Todd Evans, the school was placed on lockdown at approximately 1:15 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 21.
Law enforcement was called in to assess and investigate the situation — including the Marshall County Sheriff’s Office, Nemaha County Sheriff’s Office and Kansas Highway Patrol.
Marshall County Sheriff Dan Hargrave said in a news release that officers responded to the school following a call to dispatch reporting a threatening note found in the school.
“During the investigation it was found that a student had written the letter in haste, and the school was secure and safe,” Hargrave said. “The student was placed under arrest and all students and staff were released at the end of the school day without incident.”
Superintendent Evans said all students and staff remained safe throughout the afternoon.
“Our primary goal is the safety and security of our students,” Evans said. “We appreciate the support of law enforcement, our parents and our community during this time.”
While no additional information about the contents of the note have been released, Sheriff Hargrave reported on Thursday, Feb. 22, that 17-year-old Cordell W. Swanson — a student at Axtell High School — had been charged with the crime of communicating a threat to commit violence in reckless disregard of causing fear in another person(s), or a lockdown, or a disruption in regular, ongoing school activities at a public building. Criminal threat is a person felony, Hargrave said.
Hargrave said Swanson remains innocent unless and until proven guilty in a court of law.
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Amber Deters is Co-Editor of The Sabetha Herald, where she has been on staff since 2005. She specializes in school board, election and legislative reporting, as well as photography and page and advertising design. Amber is a 2005 Kansas State University graduate with a degree in journalism and mass communications, print journalism sequence. She lives in Sabetha with her husband and three children.