Kent Police and Valley SWAT responded to reports early Monday morning, Nov. 14 of a man pointing a gun at a family member at a house in the 25800 block of 140th Avenue SE on the East Hill.
The incident resulted in the lockdown of the nearby Meridian Elementary School, 25621 140th Ave SE, according to Kent Police. The house is just southeast of the school.
In the end, nobody was injured and no arrests were made.
“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.”
Officers responded at about 5:25 a.m. to the home after reports about a 26-year-old man who lives at the residence pointed a gun at a family member, but did not make threats, according to police.
A family member advised police that the man was possibly in crisis. The witness also said the 22 rifle was secured with a chamber lock.
Officers made numerous attempts to contact the man but were unsuccessful. The family members left the home, leaving the man alone in the house, according to police.
At about 10:30 a.m., officers requested the aid of Valley SWAT and the Valley Hostage Negotiation Team. A negotiator spent several hours on the phone speaking to the man and encouraging him to leave the residence, but he refused, according to police.
At some point during the negotiations, a family member reentered the house, and took the rifle from the man.
“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.
Officers remained on scene until school was out of session.
School message to parents
Parents were notified by the Meridian Elementary staff of an alternate dismissal plan due to the incident, according to a post on the school’s website.
Students who normally ride a bus, were picked up on the north side of Meridian Elementary School at the regular dismissal time and dropped off at their regular bus stops.
Walkers who live north of the school were released as normally scheduled.
All other walkers remained at the school to be picked up by a parent or guardian. Parents or guardians were required to park on 139th Avenue SE, north of the school, and walk across to the north entrance to confirm their ID and pick up their student(s).