Parent Who Took Teacher Hostage for 7 Hours Has Died: Reports

November 1, 2017 Last Updated: November 1, 2017

After he was shot by police, the suspect who held a hostage in a California school for seven hours died early Wednesday, Nov. 1, according to reports.

Officers shot the suspect, Luvelle Kennon, 27, after he took a teacher hostage. He later died at a hospital, Riverside Police Officer Ryan Railsback told the Los Angeles Times.

The teacher, Linda Montgomery, 70, wasn’t harmed. Railsback said she was grabbed by the suspect and taken into a classroom at Castle View Elementary School in Riverside.

Crisis negotiators tried to communicate with Kennon, but when they didn’t hear from Montgomery, they became concerned. Authorities decided to storm the classroom at 6 p.m. According to ABC 7, officials used flash-bang grenades to gain entry into the room.

It’s not clear whether Kennon was armed; Witnesses said they didn’t see any weapons.

Kennon, who has a daughter in first grade, attempted to take the girl from Castle View Elementary School, but was refused at around 11:15 a.m. That’s when he was confronted by a male teacher, who Kennon punched in the face. Kennon then grabbed Montgomery and took her hostage, NBC Los Angeles reported.

“We’ve been in fear of the victims’ safety the entire day,” Railsback told the Los Angeles Times.

Family members said Kennon had some type of breakdown.

“He had a breakdown, and he relapsed again. That’s all, he’s not dangerous,”Carl Jackson, an uncle, told the ABC 7. “It’s just a matter of getting in there and talking to him, because we can talk to him. He’ll come out for us if police let us, before anything bad happen to him.”

Kennon, he said, is “not a bad guy, never been in trouble.”

“He’s a good kid, just having an emotional breakdown. He doesn’t have no access to no weapons,” Jackson said.

But police said they saw smoke coming from the room at one point.

“When officers did respond, they noticed some type of smoke coming from the room,” said Railsback, ABC 7 reported. “They don’t believe it was related to any type of explosive device. We don’t know.”

“It didn’t seem [to be] anything toxic that was harming anybody. We don’t know if it was even maybe a fire extinguisher. But it looks like it [has] since dissipated. It didn’t seem to be too much of a concern other than it came from the room they were in.”