The first call came in at 8:23 a.m.: a man, with no shirt, was running around Fremont Elementary School’s campus. Within minutes, the man ran into a classroom full of children and their teacher.
From the time of the initial call to officers apprehending the man — it all probably lasted around 10 minutes, according to Sgt. James Fowler. The campus was put on lockdown during the whole thing.
As the man made his way around campus, Fowler said he was crying something out during all of it.
“He was exclaiming that he was being chased and someone was trying to kill him. Upon announcing that, he tried to grab some articles of clothing from a teacher,” he said. “He was thwarted in that attempt and exited the classroom.”
The man immediately across the street and hopped a fence into someone’s backyard, according to Fowler. Then, once cornered, the man surrendered to officers. He was held by police until an ambulance took him to a crisis center.
In all of this, he came into physical contact with only one person — a student.
“No students were hurt. One students was touched on the shoulder as he exited, but we believe that was possibly to clear her out of the way,” Fowler said.
Police are counting their blessings that this was resolved fast. Officers have a lot of resources at their disposal to help with calls in schools, having around 3,000 cameras for visual access. Also having campus maps on computers at police headquarters and in patrol cars.
“It’s always an alarming call when it deals with children, especially in the school,” Fowler said.
As far as general safety protocols, all school gates have to be locked during schools hours. The only exception is a gate by a main office can remain unlocked. Also, only high schools and selected middle schools have school resource officers (SRO’s) assigned to them.