Investigation Continues Into Threats Against Vinita Public Schools

Monday, January 25th 2021, 9:11 pm
By: Amy Avery

VINITA, Okla. -

Law enforcement in Craig County are continuing to investigate after an active shooter call put Vinita Public Schools on lockdown Monday. Businesses nearby were also evacuated or put on lockdown for hours.

Investigators said at one point, they were getting threats every 15 minutes.

Craig County Sheriff Heath Winfrey said no arrests have been made in this case, but they did question several people throughout the day.

Related Story: Vinita High School Students Released As Police Investigate Threats

Craig County Sheriff’s Office and Vinita Police responded to the threat at the high school initially. OHP, OSBI, GRDA and several other agencies also stepped in to help. Sheriff Winfrey said the Sheriff’s Office and Vinita Police Department are very limited in resources, so he’s thankful for all the agencies who showed up to help as more threats were made throughout the day.

“We heard that there was shooter outside and then we also heard there was a shooter inside so we didn't know what was true,” said Vinita High School Student Tucker Winfrey.

Winfrey said he and his classmates were put on lockdown around 10:30 Monday morning after an active shooter threat was called in.

Winfrey’s classmate, Wilson Rife, said he never thought something like this would happen in Vinita. Rife said their principal told them there was a threat made against the school and they needed to stay in their rooms.

“She said we need to go on lockdown and lock all the doors and we all just got in the corner and hid,” said Rife.

Throughout the day, Craig County Deputies and Vinita Police Officers responded to several different places in addition to the high school. The Vinita McDonalds and several buildings downtown, including City Hall, were evacuated.

Officials at the scene say someone would call dispatch every 15-20 minutes, describing people and cars and threatening to shoot people and blow things up. Many people in town became very concerned.

“I just saw a lot of worried people and scared people so I wanted to do everything I could to comfort the families,” said Trinity Baptist Church Member Ray Delcour.

Delcour said he went to the school and prayed with about 40 different families in the parking lot who were concerned for their students. At the end of the school day, Oklahoma Highway Patrol Troopers escorted students out from each of the school buildings. There was a large police presence at each of Vinita Public Schools’ four campuses.

Delcour said he wanted to plan a prayer vigil for the town, because he wanted to show families and officers they weren’t alone.

“A lot of times when bad things happen like this a lot of people forget God is still here so I wanted them to know that I care and most importantly God and the Lord cares,” said Delcour.

Sheriff Winfrey said no shots were fired and they’re thankful no one was hurt.

He said this is still an active investigation, so they plan to release more information as the investigation continues.