Kent School District officials closed Meridian Elementary School on Tuesday, Nov. 15 after a gun incident on Monday near the school resulted in no arrest.
“Meridian Elementary school will be closed on Nov. 15 out of an abundance of caution,” according to a short post on the school’s website Tuesday.
The post made no mention of the reasons for closing the school at 25621 140th Ave. SE on the East Hill.
But on Monday, Kent Police released a statement that the school went into lockdown after officers responded to a report of a man with a gun at a house in the 25800 block of 140th Avenue SE that borders the school’s playfield. The 26-year-old man lives at the house.
Valley SWAT responded and police hostage negotiators spoke to the man in an attempt to get him to come out of the house, according to police. Eventually, a family member returned inside to the house and took the gun from the man. Police were told on a 911 call the man had pointed the gun at a family member but had not made threats.
“Due to an abundance of caution, Meridian Elementary School was placed into lockdown during this incident,” according to a police statement. “The suspect never left the residence, and the gun was never fired, but the home was near a portion of their campus playfields.”
Nobody was injured during the incident and no arrest was made.
“The circumstances of the incident did not provide the officers the legal justification to enter the home for a community caretaking intervention, and the officers were advised there was insufficient probable cause to enter the home for an arrest,” according to police.
Officers took custody of the rifle the man had, according to police.
Parents of Meridian Elementary students have plenty of questions. Several posted on social media, prior to the school announcement about the closure, that they would not be sending their kids to school on Tuesday.
“I am keeping my kids home today from Meridian elementary,” according to one parent. “I just don’t t feel safe with the ending of yesterday.”
Another parent agreed.
“We felt the same way after yesterday’s craziness and decided last night that our kids were staying home,” according to the comment.
Kent Police have not yet responded to questions from the Kent Reporter for more details about Monday’s incident and if the department worked with school officials to recommend that the school be closed on Tuesday.
Besides the school closure, Kent School District officials have not released any other information. Kent Police also have not released any other information since Monday’s statement.
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