Monday, July 28 2014 12:32 PM EDT2014-07-28 16:32:21 GMT
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TOLEDO, OH (Toledo News Now) -
Toledo Police say a student has been charged after a standoff with police inside Scott High School Monday morning.
The incident began around 9:30 a.m. when police received a call of a person with a gun inside the school. Police later learned the student had a pellet gun, which closely resembled a real firearm. The student also had a knife, according to Toledo Police.
A student who was inside the classroom says the incident began when the suspect called a teacher a name, and the situation escalated from there.
"She [the teacher] said ‘I'm about to go get the police – I mean – Mr. Brown so you can get your days.' Then he was like ‘Go get him I'm not going to move. They're going to have to shoot me.' So, she was like ‘I'm going to get the police.' And he was like ‘Go do that I have something in my back pack," said Tyon Hughes.
Tyon says when a school resource officer arrived, the boy pulled the pellet gun from his backpack. Everyone in the room believed it was a real gun at the time, and ran out into a hallway.
"We heard the screaming but we thought maybe it was a fight in the hallway and we saw students rushing towards the commotion as it was coming and then everybody started running the opposite way. He was running up towards our floor with the gun," said Jalya Colmean-Guy.
Police surrounded the suspect in a hallway and began negotiating. The building was placed on lockdown, and students in classrooms near the suspect were evacuated.
Police fired a bean bag, hitting the suspect in the foot. The student was then taken into custody, around 10:45 a.m. Police say the suspect sustained minor injuries as a result of being hit by the bean bag.
Students were released to their parents around noon Monday.
Jalya says she was friends with the suspect, and believes the incident was an attempt to commit suicide because of bullying.
"[Other students would] throw stuff at him, call him names. I don't know. I guess they thought he was less fortunate than them. I don't know. He's a real sweet guy," said Jalya.
Jalya says the suspect posted a "goodbye status" on Facebook Monday morning, saying he loved and forgave everyone.
Toledo Public Schools says they have no evidence to suggest the suspect was bullied.
Toledo Police say the student has been charged with making terroristic threats and illegal conveyance of a dangerous ordinance. TPS spokesperson Jim Gault says the student faces expulsion.
Both TPD and TPS officials say students, teachers and administrators perfectly executed the strategies taught in the ALICE training they have undergone.
"I just want to thank our teachers, who acted appropriately to ensure that all students were safe. And of course our parents, who made sure to follow the orders to stay away from Scott," said TPS Chief Academic Officer Jim Gault.
There are no permanent metal detectors at Scott High School, though portable detectors are used from time to time.
"There is a cost that comes into that and that comes into our budgeting and looking at that," said board member Lisa Sobecki. "I don't want to look over budgeting versus safety for our students ever. Always safety. I ran that platform some years ago and I will continue to have that conversation today, first and foremost."
Sobecki believes the TPS administration did an outstanding job keeping the school board up to date on the developments, and says she's also pleased that teachers and staff followed procedures they had learned in training sessions.
TPS officials say they did not immediately notify parents because they did not want any more people rushing to the scene. Once the suspect was in custody, the district sent a text message alert to parents. Gault says the district will look at that decision to see if similar situations should be handled differently in the future.
Some parents were able to keep in contact with their children through cell phones, but were still worried about the situation. Still, they were glad the incident ended peacefully with no injuries.
"I was just nervous and scared. I didn't know – was it one? Was it two? Was they shooting? I didn't know anything," said Scott mother Sabrina Edwards.
"It's scary because there's so much violence in Toledo and I just didn't know. I didn't know if she was really safe," said parent Dwanise Guy.
At least one parent says the incident has made her reconsider sending her child to Scott.
"I'm thankful today, but I think that your initial thought is that even though it can happen anywhere, I think the whole thing just scares you and just makes you want to not send your child back there. Just the thought of knowing that this happened," said parent Sharon Holland.
TPS officials say school will resume Tuesday with extra security on hand.
An investigation is ongoing.
Click here to read the full release from TPD on the incident.
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Sunday, July 27 2014 5:57 PM EDT2014-07-27 21:57:03 GMT
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