Benton Elementary School was in a lockout for a little over an hour Wednesday morning following a report of a suicidal man with a weapon in a neighborhood nearly a half-mile away.

About a quarter after noon, the school said the lockout had been lifted and it had returned to normal operations. By 1 p.m., Maine State Police said they were “staying back” and that the situation had de-escalated.

Police had responded to the report about 11 a.m. and had gathered in the area of Miller Street and River Road, according to emergency dispatch reports. That location is nearly a half-mile away from the elementary school building.

School Administrative District 49 officials did not immediately comment earlier in the day except to confirm that the school was in lockout, meaning the school building doors are locked and people coming in and out are more intently scrutinized while classes continue.

The man, whom police did not identify, had access to a number of firearms within his home, said state police trooper Samuel Tlumac. The standoff with police ended without injury and police did not expect to file any criminal charges.

Tlumac said police didn’t believe the man posed a threat to the safety of the school or the public.

At 4:15 p.m., Tlumac said police had cleared the scene after “staying back” for a few hours and allowing the man to talk with family members. While the man was still inside the home by himself, he was speaking with his family and working with a crisis hotline.

“After the initial response police decided to back off and let things cool down,” said Steve McCausland, spokesman for the Department of Public Safety. “We’re hoping that the troubled man will get the help that he needs.”

A state police trooper was staying at the Benton school for the rest of the day to “ease any anxiety,” McCausland said.

Madeline St. Amour — 861-9239

[email protected]

Twitter: @madelinestamour

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