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Mattawan superintendent addresses concerns from Friday lockdown

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After a police chase and officer-involved shooting put all Mattawan schools on lockdown Friday morning, the superintendent is addressing concerns from parents.

A suspects from the police was able to sneak into the Mattawan high school for a brief period before eventually being arrested and Newschannel 3's Mike Krafcik spoke to the superintendent, who detailed what happened that allowed that suspect to get inside.

A female suspect from the police chase was as able to get inside the Mattawan High School on Friday and the superintendent said the doors were supposed to be locked for Mattawan High school students.

Mattawan High School Senior Nate Rigling said, “It kind of worries me about people getting into the school so easily, especially in a chaotic situation.”

Mattawan High School Freshman Colin Daly said, “It seems like everything is taken care of for now.”

Mattawan Schools Superintendent Robin Buchler said it wasn't until after the lockdown was lifted at the high school that she learned one of the suspects had gotten into the school for a moment.

She said, “They noticed right away. They didn't recognize her and immediately went out and got the police that were out there and immediately arrested her.”

Buchler said some students arrived to school later, because of extracurricular activities, while the lockdown was in effect.

She said staff let those students in, allowing the suspect to sneak in.

Buchler said, “It's very hard for educators to not look at those kids and get them into safety.”

She said staff is normally trained to shut doors and let not students in during a lockdown situation.

Buchler said, “That's the discussion we're going to have. They teach us not lock the doors.”

But ultimately, Buchler said, her staff followed protocol during the lockdown.

She said, “I don't think there's anybody to blame. I don't think there's parents, school or police officials to blame. It's just a learning experience and we always look to improve.”

The three suspects have not been formally charged and prosecutors are waiting on an investigative order for more information regarding the suspect driving the stolen car, who is being held on a probation violation.

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