Monday, September 22, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

Report of gun prompts lockdown at 2 city schools

Two city schools in Feltonville were locked down and police besieged a home in the neighborhood Thursday after four students reported a woman had pointed a weapon at them on their way to school, police said.

Report of gun prompts lockdown at 2 city schools

Two city schools in Feltonville were locked down and police besieged a home in the neighborhood Thursday after four students reported a woman had pointed a weapon at them on their way to school, police said.

Using a robot, police, however, determined no one was in the house and declared an all-clear just before noon.

Police later executed a search warrant at house on the 4600 block of Ella Street but left empty handed.

According to Chief Inspector Joe Sullivan, the department’s commander of the home security, the incident began when the students arrived at the school a little before 10 a.m. and reported a woman had pointed a long arm — a rifle, or a shotgun — when they were “interacting” with a dog in the rear yard of the house.

As a precaution, officials locked down Feltonville School of Arts and Sciences, a grades 6-8 middle school, and the K-2 Barton Elementary, both on the same campus.

School police notified city police and a SWAT team, with hostage negotiators at the ready, took up position around the house.

Sullivan said police sent in a robot, which searched the house and found no one inside.

The lockdown ended around noon.

News of the incident prompted parents to go to the schools to get their children.

"I felt confused because I didn’t know what happened, said Orquida Cesar, whose 11-year-old son is in the sixth grader.

Mario Mercado picked up his sixth-grade daughter early from Feltonville School about 1:45 pm. "It's kind of difficult," he said. "At least nothing happened."

His daughter said she was "scared" and "started crying" when the school went into lockdown. She said her mother saw the lockdown news on TV and "was worried." With the mother worried, Mercado went to pick up his daughter.

"I was nervous because I didn't know what was happening," Cesar's son said. "I didn't know if it was Connecticut all over again," he said, referring to the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre.

Cesar's son said students in his class watchec cartoons during the lockdown.

Students the school didn't tell them what triggered the lockdown.

-Kristen Graham and Sulaiman Abdur-Rahman

About this blog

Inquirer reporter Kristen Graham writes the Philly School Files blog, where she covers education in Philadelphia, both in and out of the classroom.

During the school year, you’ll frequently find her hosting live chats about the district on Philly.com.

Please do pass along the scoop about what’s going on at your Philadelphia public school; Kristen welcomes tips, story ideas and witty banter.


Kristen Graham Inquirer Staff Writer
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