Man protesting with gun prompts new protocol for school district

HILLSBORO, Ore. - Police say a man with a shotgun outside RA Brown Middle School Thursday afternoon was making a statement and not breaking any laws.

Lt. Mike Rouches told KATU News that the district sent out an "auto dialer" to parents without telling the Hillsboro Police Department.

Rouches said the man never set foot on school property. If he had, police would have arrested him.

He never posed any threat and was never a risk to public safety, according to Rouches.

The man has also recently walked past Ladd Acres Elementary around the corner of Brown Middle School as well as Century High School with his gun.

The incidents prompted the Hillsboro School District to start a new protocol.

The district safety director sent out a note Thursday evening to principals, telling them that if the man with a gun comes near their school, they should "go into an immediate LOCK-OUT" and "Secure all exterior doors, bring students in from outside areas, notify staff, and continue instruction."

The schools should also notify the school resource officer, and the district office.

At least eight people called 911 Thursday about the man with a shotgun slung over his shoulder. A dozen people called Tuesday when the same man walked around with a hunting rifle in the same area.

Police say they respond to the calls to put people at ease.

"We ensure it's the same guy that's been called in before," said Sgt. Eric Bunday with the Hillsboro Police Department. "We've had a few conversations with him but other than that, that's all we really can do."

Police admit it can be frustrating and a drain on resources, but they have to protect the man's rights, too.

Police say they don't know who the man is because he's refused to give them his name. And police can't require him to provide his name or identification, because he hasn't broken any laws.

KATU's newsroom was alerted to what was happening when one of its viewers posted on its Facebook page that the viewer had just received one of the district's recorded calls.

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