School custodian reports seeing gunman on campus; schools locked down
POSTED: Friday, January 11, 2013 - 1:10pm
UPDATED: Wednesday, January 16, 2013 - 10:53am
El Paso, TX — Panicked parents in East El Paso Friday after a custodian reported seeing a gunman on a school campus.
It all started at around 1:15 Friday afternoon at McArthur Elementary-Intermediate when a custodian reported seeing a suspicious man with a gun run from the school. She called police resulting in both McArthur and Burges High School implementing a lockdown. Meanwhile police searched by air and foot for a "person of interest." Police detained and questioned a man fitting a description, but released him a short time later. They canceled the search and lifted the lock downs by 5:00 Friday evening.
Below is a timeline of the events as they came into the Newschannel 9 Newsroom.
5:00 PM: Police have called off search for "person of interest"
4:25 PM: Person in custody not connected with EPISD situation. Man has been released. Police: Person of interest still at large.
This picture was sent in to us from Ryan Keith outside of Burges HS when the lockdown was still in effect:
4:00 PM: Police confirm one person in custody fitting description of man connected with lock downs at MacArthur & Burges Schools.
3:55 PM: From YISD: Lockdown has been lifted at Scotsdale Elementary and the area has been cleared by police. Students are being released to their parents.
3:45 PM: From Facebook fan Angelica Mendiola-Trevizo: "yes theres still helicopters flying over our our neighborhood and border patrol cruising the area as well as police armed with assault rifles as well. I just picked up my son from McArthur and am glad everyone is safe! They also had my daughters school Bonham Elementary school on lockdown as well! But all the kids are safe and that's all that matters!"
3:30 PM: Lock downs at MacArthur EM and Burges HS have been lifted.
3:20 PM: All that police will tell us at this point is an air and foot pursuit is underway for a black male related to the EPISD situation. Police do say a Custodian reported a suspicious man outside the school had a gun. They have not been able to confirm that.
3:10 PM: From reporter Jackie Crea: Parents picking up students outside of MacArthur
3:00 PM: From Reporter Cathy Hernandez: Students being released at MacArthur. Parents running to school, kids running from school.
Police: Custodian says he believed suspicious man outside school had gun. They have not been able to confirm that.
2:54 PM: Immanuel Christian School (Pre-K through 12) is on a precautionary lockdown per situation at EPISD
2:46 PM: From YISD's Facebook page: In response to a reported situation in EPISD, Scotsdale Elementary is under precautionary lockdown at this time. Students who ride the bus will follow a normal schedule, and will be escorted to their bus. All other students will be released only to their parents. Students who walk to and from school as well as car riders will remain in the building until parents arrive. Parents will only be admitted through the front entrance
2:45 PM: EPISD will release MacArthur students at 2:50, Burges students at 3:45 PM
2:40 PM: From Anoushah Rasta: Dozens of nervous parents standing outside. Helicopter circling over school
2:35 PM: Facebook fan Cristie Kitty Flores posted on our page, "this is scary..im in car in front of the school cause they told us it wasnt safe...not leaving until i have my 2 girls with me...
2:10 PM: Police at the scene are telling parents it is not confirmed a shooter was near the school.
Reporter Cathy Hernandez: EPISD is saying a custodian at MacArthur saw a suspicious man outside a portable and called 911.
1:55 PM: a Newschannel 9 Facebook fan, Suzanne Suzy Osburn Valencia, posted this on our page: "Sitting here in a front office at Burgess. Scared. Fish in a barrel!"
Police now extending perimeter to the areas blocked off in the neighborhood.
1:45 PM: Police Scanners: Police searching for man in his late 40's, 5'2", black scarf. He may be armed with shotgun or rifle.
1:40 PM: A student from Burges High School tells Newschannel 9 the principal came over the intercom to tell teachers "to stop teaching"
1:15 PM: Custodian at MacArthur called 911 reporting a gunman outside a portable classroom on campus. Police have not been able to confirm that.
Reporter Cathy Hernandez tweeted this picture from the scene. She says parents are waiting outside the school to pick up kids.