FRUITA, Colo. (KKCO/KJCT)-- Students at Fruita Monument High School and the 8/9 went into shelter in place status just after 8 a.m. Wednesday, then into a lockdown mode before they were released at about 11:30 a.m.
Meanwhile, parents had to wait, while anxious children texted them from inside their schools.
Neighboring parents and residents told KKCO 11 News they started coming out of their homes after they heard sirens outside the school.
They had a lot of questions with a lot of mixed answers circulating.
Parents were first told to head to over to Victory Life Church, wait for further instructions about reunification, and clear the area, but other parents refused to leave the school.
"I refused. My daughter is in the school with police officers surrounding it...I’m not going anywhere,” said Eric Foote, the father of a 9th grader.
Law enforcement surrounded both of the schools within minutes.
"Saw officers with their guns drawn...it just makes me a little nervous,” said Foote.
All parents could do, was watch and wait.
"She was texting me back saying they were in lockdown, so I just told her to stay put, stay quiet, I asked her if the teacher knew anything and she said no they weren't saying anything,” said Kyla Hawkins, the mother of another 9th grader.
For kids on the inside, SWAT teams entered each classroom, checking everything was alright.
"I kind of thought it was a drill but I was kind of skeptical about it because they usually warn us,” said Cameron Christensen, a student at Fruita 8/9.
"Unfortunately in this world we are going to have to live with the fact that these things are going to occur,” said Foote.
Students were told over the loudspeakers by police, to stay in classrooms and wait until further notice.
"An hour into it, we had SWAT teams come into the schools and we heard a bunch of sirens and we were in that room for about 3 hours and then they called us all into the gym,” said Christensen.
Students were then moved to the gym, organized by name and then waited for the next steps.
"I kind of felt safe because I knew there was a bunch of cops and stuff around me,” said Christensen.
"Makes you sick to your stomach, so I will go where ever they take them and pick her up and stuff and give her hugs and kisses,” said Hawkins.
Parents say that despite the overwhelming police presence and seriousness of the lockdown, they were impressed by how the community came together to keep children safe.
Multiple units from across the county came out to help including deputies, officers, SWAT teams, D51 security, and Colorado State Patrol. Even CPW and CDOT were on scene to help.