REDMOND, OR -- Redmond's Ridgeview High School went in to lock-out Friday morning, over fears a cougar may be in the area. Redmond Police say a small dog was killed in front of a residence near the school. They've since determined the culprit was likely a coyote, not a cougar. However, as of 10 a.m., RVHS remains in lock-out as a precaution.
At about 9:30 a.m., Friday, Redmond High went in to lock-out as police searched for a suspect in the area. That incident lasted about 15 minutes and the RHS lock-out was lifted when officers gave the "all clear."
Schools in "lock out" do not allow anyone in or out of the building, but classes continue as usual.
This is a developing story and more information will follow, as it becomes available.
UPDATE (11 a.m.) The lockout at Ridgeview High is lifted. According to Redmond Police, the Department of Fish and Wildlife found cougar tracks in the area, but not in the immediate vacinity of the yard where the dog was attacked. They still do not know what killed the dog. RPD is working closely with ODFW in the case.
UPDATE (2 p.m.) Redmond Police Sgt. Ryan Fraker, says the RHS lockout was due to an altercation in a nearby neighborhood. Two men were involved, and one thought the other had a weapon, but it was soon judged by officers to be a mental health issue and not an active threat situation.
In the Ridgeview High incident, ODFW's Mike Harrington says authorities believe it was likely a cougar, "The woman said she had heard something outside. She went out to investigate, and saw her dog in the mouth of an animal that was tall and skinny, and she said it was a cougar. When she screamed, the animal dropped her dog and ran off." The dog is expected to fully recover. Harrington tells KBND News, "Our wildlife biologists did find two tracks in the dirt that looked a lot like cougar tracks to them. However, that was the first report we'd had that there was a cougar in the area, so they assumed that the cat was most likely moving through." But, as the investigation continued, that opinion changed. "We talked to the Deschutes County Sheriff and told let them know what we had found, and received another call that a person had seen a cougar in a field not too far from the location where the dog was taken off the porch in the last few days, during daylight hours." This prompted DCSO to consider the big cat a public safety issue and they are actively tracking it. Despite lifting the lockout, RVHS canceled outdoor activities on Friday, as a precaution.