HOSPERS, Iowa | Two school districts went into precautionary lockdown Monday afternoon after authorities say a man in Hospers, Iowa, threatened to shoot people and then himself.
Sioux County sheriff’s deputies arrested a 22-year-old man near his Hospers home after someone reported that the man had posted a message on Facebook saying, "I want to shoot a bunch of people, my family and myself."
Authorities did not release the man's name. He was being evaluated by medical personnel Monday.
The incident came three days after a gunman shot and killed 26 people, including 20 children, at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn.
Authorities said Monday’s threat was not directed at either of the elementary schools in Hospers. Both buildings were locked down as a precaution, and school officials extended the extra security measure to other locations in their districts.
“We’re not taking any chances with our little ones,” said Spalding Catholic Principal Lisa Hamerlinck.
She said the school system's attendance centers in Hospers, Alton and Granville were locked down for less than an hour and parents were notified about the incident.
The Sioux County Sheriff’s Office received a report about the man’s threat at 1:07 p.m. Monday. The school lockdown was lifted after authorities arrested the 22-year-old man within an hour.
“There was no direct threat made to the schools,” Sgt. Nate Huizenga said. “It was a precautionary step that needed to be made due to the circumstances.”
All four MOC-Floyd Valley Schools also went into lockdown, said Gary Richardson, district superintendent. The district has schools in Hospers, Alton and Orange City.
At MOC-Floyd Valley, lockdown means the schools’ exterior doors are locked. No one goes in or out. Students are confined to their classrooms.
“In light of last Friday, everybody’s a little bit on edge,” Richardson said. “This was as much precautionary as anything.”
The incident remains under investigation and charges are pending, the sheriff's office said.
-- Journal staff writer Molly Montag contributed to this report.