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There was an officer-involved shooting across the street from a school that was on lockdown in Mission, Kansas on Friday afternoon.
MISSION, KS (KCTV) – A suspect is in custody after an officer-involved shooting happened near Highlands Elementary School while it was on lockdown.
The school is in the 6200 block of Roe Ave., which is in the Shawnee Mission School District.
At 1:30 p.m., there was a paraprofessioinal outside with a student who heard what sounded like gunfire, so everyone was rushed inside and the school entered a complete lockdown.
Police activity then began in the area. At that time, the sheriff’s office said that there was a "firearms complaint" at the school, but no other information was available.
“All students and staff are safe,” according to an initial email from the school that was sent to parents.
The school was asking that people not approach the building. By 2:50 p.m., parents were picking up their children, but they had to be escorted by police.
Crime scene tape could be seen around some cars in the parking lot, one of which was a school minivan that had a window broken out. A school spokesperson said that it did appear a bullet had broken the window, but they were still trying to figure out where that gunfire came from. No one was inside the van when it happened.
Also, bullet holes were found in a wall of the school.
Police had been seen spending a lot of time at a house across the street. They found bullet holes in the side of that house, suggesting the shots came from inside there. However, no one was home at that time.
The officer-involved shooting happened after 3:15 p.m. in the 4600 block of West 62nd St., which is located directly across the street from the school.
Police said they had received multiple 911 calls from a woman inside the house they were at earlier. She said her son was home and armed.
Police returned to the house and could be seen talking to a woman outside. Things quickly got tense and police were telling everyone to get back. Parents, children, and staff were quickly ushered into the school.
Police had their guns drawn and were pointing them at the house. They yelled a name and told the male suspect to come out of the house with his hands up several times.
Then, the male suspect opened the door and could be seen pointing a black handgun at police. He appeared to be a teenager.
A KCTV5 News crew was close to the scene and witnessed an exchange of gunfire between the suspect and police. It seems that the suspect fired first.
The suspect appears to have sustained a single gunshot wound to the abdomen. His condition is unknown at this time.
No other injuries have been reported and police say all students and staff are OK.
Later on Friday, the principal sent out a statement to parents:
I wanted to let you know about an incident that took place this afternoon here at Highlands Elementary. No one was hurt during this incident, and everyone responded as we have trained them to.
The school was placed on an external lockdown this afternoon after staff who were on the playground heard the sound of gunfire. During a lockdown, all students and staff are brought inside, and no one is allowed in or out, until the lockdown was lifted. Both district and city police were called, and responded immediately, and made sure that students and staff were safe.
Once the situation was under control, we made the decision to begin our dismissal. We used our rain procedure, in which we walked students out to parents individually. While this was taking place, police at a house across from the school attempted to arrest a suspect and exchanged gunfire with the suspect. When this happened, we brought everyone back into the school, until the police announced that they had arrested the suspect.
I want to say again that no one was hurt, and that students and staff acted exactly as we have trained during our safety drills. I also want to thank both our local police department and our SMSD police officers for their guidance. This was a stressful situation, and everyone handled it professionally.
Also included in this communication is a letter from Julie Nelson, our social worker, with advice on how to talk to and support your kids during this time. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me here at the school.