Kirby High School student allowed wanted suspect into school - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Kirby High School student allowed wanted suspect into school

Kirby High School (Source: WMC Action News 5) Kirby High School (Source: WMC Action News 5)

Kirby High School went on lockdown around 10:30 a.m. Thursday when a student opened a door and allowed a wanted man into the school.

SCS said police were investigating a situation in the neighborhood near the school when the man they were trying to take into custody ran toward the school. Inside a backpack dropped by the man near the school, officers found a handgun and marijuana.

Surveillance video shows the man was able to get inside the school through a side door that a student held open for him. It is unclear whether the student knew the man or had any idea he was wanted by police.

MPD said there were no hostages.

"We do not have a gunman holding nobody hostage. The guy ran in the school, he left the school, as a precaution the school was locked down to make sure he didn't go back in," Col. Marcus Worthy, Memphis Police Department, said.

Teachers locked their doors while officers went from room to room to make sure the person was not inside the building.

SCS said the suspect never entered any classrooms or came into contact with any other students.

Student safety is our top priority, and our lockdown procedures help ensure students are protected during safety and security situations on or around our campuses. Following a police search in the area of Kirby High this morning, the school was placed on lockdown after school security officers saw an unknown man outside the building. Security video from the school later revealed that a student opened a side door, allowing the person to enter the building. The individual did not enter any classrooms or come into contact with any other students or staff. All students were safe inside the building. All of our schools have strict procedures for allowing visitors on campus, and the staff at Kirby took time today to remind all students of the protocols for ensuring campus safety.

Parents said they were frantic when they heard of the lockdown.

Zelda Leverson's daughter was inside the school.

"Kirby was on lockdown and there was a shooter in the building. So, I was frantic," Leverson said. 

She said she raced to the high school to pick up her daughter, but all she heard was speculation from other frantic parents.

"Their children called them and said the shooter ran in the building, they're hiding," Leverson said. "I don't know if that's true or not. I just wanna know, is there a shooter in the building? And are the kids OK?"

SCS said the school did go over safety precautions at the school following the incident. Several parents said they think SCS could have done a better job communicating and keeping them up to date with what was going on.

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