School officials locked down Washington Elementary School in West Caldwell for about an hour Tuesday afternoon while police investigated reports of a possible gunshot in the area.
Two police officers were sent to the school, where students remained in their classrooms behind locked doors. Parents, who were there for a winter concert, waited outside on the sidewalk.
Patrons at Central Barbers reported around 1 p.m. hearing a loud bang one man said "sounded like a gunshot," according to West Caldwell Police Chief Michael Bramhall.
Multiple police vehicles responded to the strip of businesses at the intersection of Central and Elmwood Terrace and blocked traffic from Woodrow Place to Miller Street along Central Avenue, as well as side streets, while the investigation was conducted. The businesses are located just a few blocks from the Caldwell-West Caldwell elementary school.
Some people interviewed in the vicinity of the businesses said they heard what could have been a car backfiring or a car accident, Bramhall said. The chief said police were not able to find anything that supported the claim of a gunshot.
"Once the police were satisfied that there was no longer a concern, the school went back to normal activity," Caldwell-West Caldwell Superintendent James Heinegg said in a prepared statement. "The police had the matter under control at all times."
North Caldwell and Fairfield police officers also responded to the scene.