Student charged with making terroristic threats after Scott standoffWritten by Sarah Ottney | Managing Editor | firstname.lastname@example.org
Scott High School went into lockdown Dec. 2 after a student brought a pellet gun to school, but no shots were fired and no one was hurt.
Toledo Police were called to the scene around 9:30 a.m. When they arrived eight minutes later, Toledo Public School security officers already had the student contained in a first-floor hallway, said TPD spokesman Lt. Mark King.
Negotiators talked to him and a SWAT team stood by.
“He became agitated, but wasn’t really responsive or saying much,” King said.
At one point, he pulled the gun out of his bag, prompting police to fire a bean bag round at his chest.He was removed from the building by SWAT team members around 10:45 a.m., King said. The student, 14-year-old freshman Louis Stroude, was charged with making terroristic threats and illegal conveyance of a dangerous ordinance.
Students remained in their classrooms although two nearby classrooms were cleared for safety, King said.
Parents were asked not to come to the school, but many gathered outside along with community members to wait for news and pick up their children. Students were released to their parents around noon.
School will resume as usual Dec. 3, but with extra counselors and extra security, said TPS spokeswoman Patty Mazur.
Mazur and TPS Chief Academic Officer Jim Gault said students and teachers executed the lockdown perfectly.
“Teachers did exactly what they are trained to do,” Gault said. “Their primary responsibility is safety. They put the kids in a lockdown procedure and allowed TPD to do their job.”
Coincidentally the school had already planned to practice the lockdown procedure later that day, Mazur said.
“Students and staff followed the procedures beautifully,” Mazur said. “That’s the best thing in this situation you can hope for, that everyone stays safe. Because of everybody following directions and taking quick action, they did just that.”
King said TPD followed normal protocol for a standoff situation: Securing the perimeter, sending in negotiators to converse with the suspect and having a SWAT team on standby.
Scott’s school day starts at 8 a.m. All students enter through one entrance, Mazur said.
None of the TPS high schools have permanent metal detectors, but two portable walk-through units and several hand-held wands are installed “periodically and unannounced” for a school day as well as at sporting events, she said. Each TPS high school has one TPD officer stationed at the school as well as several campus protection officers who are TPS employees, Mazur said.
Just after 10:35 a.m., TPD Sgt. TJ Hanus updated parents outside the school, saying the situation was under control.
“It’s a controlled situation right now. We’ve got our guys on him,” Hanus said. “We have him contained. He’s totally surrounded. We’re working on clearing out the kids from the immediate classrooms.”
Eighteen-year-old Jazmine Walker said she was working on an assignment in a third-floor computer lab when the voice of Principal Treva Jeffries came over the PA system.
“She said, ‘This is a lockdown and it’s not a drill,’” Walker said. “So we all got under the desks and we stayed there for an hour or so until they told us to get back up. She sounded pretty scared. I was scared. I didn’t know what to expect. I didn’t know where he was and I had no way of knowing anything from the outside world.”
Walker’s parents, Carl Herkimer and Dawn Swindle, were among those who came to the school. Swindle said her daughter texted her while the school was on lockdown. Herkimer found out via Facebook.
“She was just like, ‘Mom, we’re on lockdown,’ and I was like, ‘What are you talking about? What do you mean?’ I mean you just don’t send a text like that without more,” Swindle said. “I’m going like, ‘OK where you at? What’s going on?’ [Herkimer] called me five minutes after that, saying, ‘I don’t want to alarm you but …’”
“I was scared to death,” Herkimer said. “I saw it on Facebook. It freaked me out. Then the calls started rolling in.”
Eighteen-year-old senior Rekedra Daniel said she was in math class on the third floor when the announcement came.
“You go away from the door, toward the closets and kind of up under whatever you can get up under,” Daniel said.
Daniel said she was scared when she heard a big boom she thought was a gunshot.
“Then when I seen the SWAT team, that scared me even more because I realized the situation was more serious,” Daniel said.
Eighteen-year-old senior Roy Lindsey was also on the third floor, in his senior comp class. He said he and his classmates moved into the corner of the classroom. Some hid under desks.
“I wasn’t technically scared, but I was worried,” Lindsey said. “I texted my parents. My mom called me to make sure I was OK. She was pretty scared.”
Gerri Mitchell of Toledo, whose grandson Dominique Mitchell is a 16-year-old sophomore at Scott, was on her way to an appointment, but came to the school after getting a tearful phone call from her daughter, Dominique’s mother.
“She was crying. She was so upset,” Mitchell said. “I told her I’d be here.”
Mitchell said she knows Stroude’s grandfather, who told her the boy was bullied at school.
“I just wish and hope the young man gets help,” Mitchell said. “I just feel sorry for him and his family, what they’ve got to go through now since this made news. It’s a sad situation that has occurred. Just really sad. But nobody got hurt and everybody’s OK.
“You hear this on the news, but whoever thinks it’s going to happen to your school?” Mitchell said. “This shows to tell you it can happen anywhere.”