Police Shoot Parent Who Took California Teacher Hostage at School

Suspect had an 'emotional breakdown'
October 31, 2017 Updated: November 1, 2017    

Police in Riverside, California, shot a parent who had taken a teacher hostage—in a dramatic end to an hourslong standoff inside a school.

The teacher, identified as Linda Montgomery, was hospitalized for a precautionary evaluation, Riverside Unified officials told the Los Angeles Times. TV footage showed a man, presumably the parent who held the teacher hostage, being taken away on a stretcher.

Officers swarmed the school, entering the classroom at 6 p.m. local time, seven hours after it started.

It’s unclear if the man was armed with a gun.

According to the LA Times:

When the parent arrived on campus, he got into a confrontation with a teacher, said Riverside Police Officer Ryan Railsback. The parent did not appear to follow the school district’s safety procedures and check in with the front desk, he added.

The parent was confronted by a male teacher and the parent hit that teacher in the face, Railsback said. A witness told KABC that the teacher’s face was bloodied and his nose was broken. The teacher was treated at a nearby hospital, police said.

The parent then went into an empty classroom and took a female teacher hostage, police said. The door to the classroom was blocked with the parent and a female teacher inside for hours.

Officials canceled classes at the elementary school for the week.

Montgomery, 70, is safe after the incident, but she was taken to a hospital as a precaution, KTLA reported.

Police also used a flash grenade to distract the suspect.

Family members told ABC7 that the suspect, who was not identified, had a breakdown.

“He had a breakdown, and he relapsed again. That’s all, he’s not dangerous,” said Carl Jackson, the suspect’s uncle. “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.”

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

Ariana Montgomery, the teacher’s granddaughter, told KTLA, “I couldn’t even imagining this ever happening to her.”

“I was just scared, I was trembling with fear,” student Giselle Gomez told KTLA.

Jennifer Sandoval, the mother of a sixth-grader at the school, added, “It was scary.”