Hostage standoff at Calif. elementary school ends in violence (video)

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On Tuesday, 670 students were evacuated from an elementary school in Riverside, California, after a parent went to the school and held a teacher hostage. SWAT officers finally ended the hours-long standoff when they shot the parent, identified as Luvelle Kennon.

Riverside police said the incident began around 11 a.m. at Castle View Elementary School. The children were not in the classroom that Kennon, 27, entered when he took teacher Linda Montgomery hostage.

After a seven-hours of standoff that included no communication with Montgomery, police swarmed the classroom and shot Kennon, who later died later at a hospital, said Riverside police Officer Ryan Railsback.

Montgomery suffered scrapes and abrasions during the hostage situation, sustained as Kennon physically restrained her and forced her into an empty classroom, Railsback said.

Classes at the elementary school have been canceled for the remainder of the week.

Kennon had a daughter who attended first grade at the school, Railsback said. According to the officer, a male teacher confronted Kennon when he didn’t check in with the front office. Kennon responded by hitting that teacher in the face, breaking the teachers’ nose.

It remains unclear why Kennon took Montgomery hostage, although a school secretary told the Press-Enterprise that Kennon was very upset when he arrived on-campus.

“When I first saw him I knew it was probably the most upset parent I’ve had,” Stephanie Zolfaghari told the paper. She reportedly called for a lockdown when Kennon entered the campus.

Police believe Montgomery will be able to give them more information, but they are waiting to question her.

“This is very traumatic for her, so they were trying to give her a little space to recover mentally a little bit before they start talking in depth with her,” Railsback said.

 

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