SCHOOL PICK UP — Jennifer Cappa embraces her son Layne, Artz Fox Elementary second grade student with a big hug and kiss on the cheek after the Mabton School District wide lockdown was lifted around 3 p.m. on Wednesday, Sept. 11.

MABTON — Mabton School District and law enforcement officials lifted the district-wide school lockdown around 3 p.m, allowing anxious students to board buses or go home with their relieved parents.

According to Yakima Sherriff’s Office Public Information Officer Casey Schilperoort, at 4:44 p.m. the suspect had been detained by Grandview Police.

“We do know from the witnesses, that he was armed and did shoplift some ammunition from the Blue Sky Market, made some comments, not threatening anybody, but he did make comments that spooked those high school kids that were there,” Mabton Police Chief Steve Araguz confirmed.

The students immediately notified school officials and a lockdown was issued at 12:30 p.m. The store, located at 340 North Street, is across from the district administration office and high school classrooms which prompted the emergency action.

“With help from Yakima County Sherriff’s Office, Sunnyside P.D., we secured the schools,” Araguz acknowledged.

 He added that Phoenix Security, armed security guards are at both Artz Fox Elementary and Jr./Sr. High schools.

“The threats were made to one individual and not to the schools,” Araguz stated.

Standing out front the elementary school monitoring the release of students, the Mabton Police Chief explained the lockdown was for two reasons.

“Threats to the student and the unknown threat the individual was posing at the Blue Sky Market.

Patrick Shelby can be contacted at 509-837-4500, ext. 110 or email

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