COESSE — An unnerving situation was quickly handled by school officials and local law enforcement after gunshots were heard near Coesse Elementary School Wednesday, Aug. 21 at about 11:30 a.m.

According to Coesse Elementary School Principal Michelle Urban, gunshots were heard by a recess monitor. The school was quickly put on lockdown as a precaution, however, the event was determined to be non-threatening to the students.

Law enforcement arrived to the area to find that an individual was lawfully shooting a rodent on his property. Coesse is located about five miles east of Columbia City, within the Whitley County Consolidated Schools district, in a rural area.

The man had a handgun, and reportedly was not shooting it in a manner that would have put the children in danger.

Urban reported that all students were safe and the lockdown was initiated as a precaution.

“Law enforcement had a tremendous response,” Urban said.

Urban said a letter will be sent to parents of children at the school.