HARTLEY—A runaway Black Angus cow caused a few minutes of anguish at Hartley-Melvin-Sanborn High School on Tuesday afternoon, Sept. 17.

A cow escaped from Nelson’s Locker in Hartley after being unloaded from a trailer.

An employee from the locker began chasing after the animal while carrying a firearm.

The locker is located east of the high school. Both facilities sit on the north side of Highway 18 on the west edge of Hartley.

Hartley-Melvin-Sanborn School District superintendent Patrick Carlin said at about 4:20 p.m. members of the school’s athletic teams who were outside practicing by the football field noticed the armed man east of them.

This led the staff to initiate a lockdown procedure.

“The police were probably on the scene within a minute or two; it was pretty quick,” Carlin said.

The second-year district leader said the Hartley Police Department was able to sort out the details and determined there was no threat.

The lockdown lasted about 10 minutes and Carlin said the whole incident was over after about half an hour once the last witness statements were made to law enforcement.

“I’ve been in lockdown situations before and — like most districts — our priority is always student safety in those situations,” Carlin said.

“As a superintendent, I’m very happy with how our team responded. They responded seriously and followed procedures to keep people safe and they worked very with law enforcement as well.”

The cow was eventually killed, bled and dragged back to Nelson's Locker, Jodean Nelson confirmed.

“He’s hamburger now,” she said.

While Carlin can see the humor in the situation, he still acknowledges how scary these moments are for all involved.

“You never want anyone to go through the trauma of those situations — even in this case — it’s always a certain amount of emotional response that goes along with that situation and the unknown,” he said.

“We’re just thankful that it was nothing to be concerned about and that we responded appropriately.”