El Mirage police said three parents were arrested, two of whom were bullied during a confrontation outside an Arizona elementary school, which was closed Friday over reports of someone with a gun.
El Mirage Police Lieutenant Jimmy Chavez said Thompson Ranch Elementary School was closed at 10:30 a.m. following a report that someone had tried to open a locked door to hold a gun and had fled.
A statement later said the man was later taken into custody and was being evaluated by mental health professionals, police in the city of El Mirage, northwest of Phoenix. The statement did not say whether any guns were found.
Police said criminal charges are pending against the man, whose identity has not been released, but did not say what they might be.
The security scare in El Mirage came a little more than two months after a mass shooting and failed police response Rob Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, in which 19 children and two teachers were killed.
Chavez said outside a school in Arizona on Friday, three parents were arrested after several parents said they were about to leave the campus closed to protect their children.
“As a parent, I understand that philosophy, however, there were procedures that law enforcement and the school were following,” Chavez told reporters at the scene.
Chavez said one of those arrested, a man described as the “main instigator,” was armed and that a weapon fell to the ground while being arrested.
The other two, a man and a woman, were apprehended and arrested after they came to his aid, he said.
“They were trying to physically enter the campus, and they were physically engaging with our officers,” Chavez said. “They were forcibly pressurizing the officers trying to enter the campus.”
Chavez said police had gathered at the elementary school after school staff reported that someone tried to enter an outdoor building, but the door was locked, and the man was chased, Chavez said. .
Chavez said some of the information was conflicting. At one point when police were clearing a hallway, they found what was described as a suspicious package, prompting students and staff to move out of the area, he said. The police statement said it was “presented safely” but did not say what the object was.
Chavez said it is illegal to have firearms on school premises. He said the gun-owning parent faces charges related to that violation as well as disorderly conduct. The allegations against the other two parents were unclear. Their names have not been released.
He said one of the two parents was injured and was taken to a hospital for treatment.
Dissert Unified School District in a statement Remind the parents that no one can enter or leave the campus during the lockdown.
“This is done in partnership with law enforcement to sanitize each and every part of the campus to ensure the safety of all students and staff. Additionally, schools are gun-free zones and it is a felony to have a firearm in any school premises,” the district said.
The city of El Mirage is a city of about 35,800 about 15 miles northwest of Phoenix. Thompson Elementary is a K-8 school with over 600 students, according to its website.