Meridian Elementary closes again based on Kent Police information

Second consecutive day of no school after gun incident at nearby house

Kent School District officials closed Meridian Elementary School for the second consecutive day Wednesday, Nov. 16 based on information from the Kent Police Department.

The decision was made after a gun incident Monday, Nov. 14 at a house next to the school.

“After monitoring the situation and speaking with Kent Police, out of an abundance of caution, it has been decided school will be canceled today, Wednesday, Nov. 16,” according to a post on the Meridian Elementary website in a message to parents. “If there are any updates or changes to our school schedule, information will be distributed as soon as it is available via email and phone.

“We appreciate everyone for their patience during this situation as we try to be proactive in our communications during these unusual circumstances.”

Kent Police have not released any further information since a statement on Monday about the incident and when the school went into lockdown for the day. The Kent Reporter has continued to reach out to Kent Police for more information about the recommended closures on Tuesday and Wednesday but has not received a response.

Meridian Elementary is on the East Hill at 25621 140th Ave. SE. Police responded Monday morning to a house in the 25800 block of 140th Avenue SE that borders the school’s playfield after a 911 call that a 26-year-old man who lives at the house pointed a gun at a family member.

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.

Editor’s note: This story has been updated that Kent Police did not recommend the closure of the school but shared information that led school officials to close it.

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