Students and faculty members were evacuated from an elementary school in Riverside, California, on Tuesday afternoon when a parent reportedly began holding a teacher hostage. While all students were accounted for, the man has yet to emerge from the classroom
The incident began at around 11:00 am when the Riverside Police Department received a report of a hostage situation at Castle View Elementary School, NBC Los Angeles reported.
In a statement, the Riverside Unified School District confirmed that all 670 students had been evacuated to a park off-campus.
Now, hostage negotiators are trying to get the man to exit the classroom to no avail.
“He’s not responding to our commands to come out so far,” said Riverside Police Officer Ryan Railsback, who noted that the department is committed to resolving the situation as safely as possible.
Just before 11:15 am, the hostage taker, a parent of a student at the school, arrived on campus and reportedly got into a confrontation with a male teacher, the Los Angeles Times reported. He did not sign in at the front desk, breaking the district’s safety procedures.
The man struck the teacher in the face with such severity that the victim was treated at a nearby hospital for what appeared to be a broken nose. He then went into a classroom and took a female teacher hostage, where both remain.
Police saw smoke coming out of the room at one point, Railsback said, but no information about it has surfaced. It is also unclear as to whether the hostage taker is armed.