Many received word from their children inside Glen Allen High School that the school was on lockdown.
Lt. Linda Toney with the Henrico Police Department said when a possible gun on campus call comes in, it is all hands on deck.
“Any possibility that our students or our faculty are going to be at risk, we're going to have a response that you saw today,” Toney said.
Cheryl Corbin even received a picture message from her son showing two SWAT team members inside the school.
One of them was standing outside his classroom holding a gun.
“I thought, oh my gosh, is that really a man with a gun?” Corbin said.
Sal Midulla said he saw the picture too, and his mind immediately raced to the worst possible scenario.
“You don't know what he's pointing at or what's going on there,” Midulla said.
Education expert Bill Bosher, who worked as a school superintendent for several years in Chesterfield and Henrico, said photos can make a situation look scarier than it actually is.
“You don't hear voices of police officers calming young people...you don't hear officers telling them what they're doing,” Bosher said.
Still, parents said while the images were scary, they were very happy with the county’s response to the situation.
“I was very proud of Henrico County. I think they did exactly what they should have done,” Corbin said.
“They are to be commended...they did a great job,” Midulla said.
Henrico County Schools spokesperson Andy Jenks said the school system is pleased with how they handled the situation, especially, its communication efforts.
“We notified parents several times today when the situation was just beginning, as well as when new reliable information came along we passed that along as well,” Jenks said.
Bosher said it’s always better for a school system to be safe rather than sorry.
“At the end of the day when young people are safe and staff members are safe it was never an overreaction to do the things that the police department needed to do to make sure that was true,” Bosher said.
Jenks said school officials will continue to evaluate Tuesday’s events as the school system is always interested in continuous improvement.