Oct. 31 (UPI & Gephardt Daily) — A school in California was evacuated after a parent took a teacher hostage, school district officials said Tuesday.
A man had barricaded himself in a room with a teacher at Castle View Elementary School in Riverside at about 11:15 a.m. PDT, Riverside Police Department spokesman Ryan Railsback said.
NBC Los Angeles reported later Tuesday that after nearly seven hours of trying to get the man to voluntarily come out, officers stormed the room and brought the standoff to an end.
The man was transported to an area hospital, but no information was released regarding any injuries he may have.
The hostage, 70-year-old first-grade teacher Linda Montgomery, was taken to a hospital for a precautionary evaluation
Throughout the day, hostage negotiators had attempted to coax the man out as police warned he may be armed.
ABC7 reported that it was unknown if the man was armed, but no weapon was seen.
“We want this situation to be resolved as safely and peacefully as possible,” Railsback said in a news conference early Tuesday afternoon.
According to ABC7, “The suspect apparently had an altercation with a staff member and assaulted him, then barricaded himself inside a classroom with a female teacher.”
The news station said, “Witnesses reported seeing a male staff member with possibly a broken nose and blood on his shirt being brought to an ambulance.”
The L.A. Times reported that Railsback said the incident began when the parent arrived before 11:15 a.m. and got into a confrontation with a teacher. The parent did not appear to understand the school district’s safety procedures and check in with the front desk, he added.
The man’s family was at the scene. ABC7 said a man who identified himself as an uncle of the barricaded suspect told reporters his nephew had an emotional breakdown and is not dangerous.
All 670 students were accounted for as police evacuated them from the campus and began releasing them to their parents at 1 p.m.