MANCHESTER, Mo (KMOV.com) – An armed, suicidal man who caused four Parkway School District schools to be put on lockdown was captured Monday evening.
Police in Manchester called in tactical SWAT units, police helicopters and canine units in response to a report of a subject near Parkway South High School who might have been armed and suicidal.
Police were alerted by the girlfriend of the suspect, a 19-year-old Webster Groves man, who said the suspect texted her that he had a shotgun near Parkway South High School. The girlfriend said the man threatened suicide.
When police arrived, the suspect reportedly ran into the woods near the high school.
Police contacted Parkway to warn them of the situation. While the majority of students were home, some school administrators and students remained at the schools. As a precaution, Parkway South High School, Southwest Middle School, Wren Hollow Elementary and Hanna Woods Elementary were locked out, preventing anyone from entering or leaving the building.
Tactical units from Ballwin, Manchester and St. Louis County police departments responded to the scene.
Police say the suspect was not armed when he surrendered, but did lead police to a shotgun he dropped in the woods.
Parkway School District spokesperson Cathy Kelly said all 18 Parkway elementary schools will have an increased police presence throughout the week.
Kelly said the increased patrols will be “because of what happened Friday” in Newtown, Connecticut, not Monday’s incident.
A spokesman with St. Louis County police said the highest priority of all St. Louis County officers is patrolling and protecting county elementary schools.
St. Louis County police said they will also meet with members from a variety of schools on Thursday.
They hope for an open discussion about what changes could be made to better increase school security.