Parents arrested and tasered while trying to get to campus of locked-out Arizona school

Three parents were arrested, two of whom were shocked, in a confrontation outside an Arizona elementary school that had been closed following a report of someone with a gun Friday, El Mirage police said.

Thompson Ranch Elementary School was closed after a report around 10:30 a.m. that someone who appeared to have a handgun tried to open a locked door and fled, police Lt. Jimmy Chavez said of El Mirage.

That individual was later taken into custody and assessed by mental health professionals, police in El Mirage, a town northwest of Phoenix, said in a later statement. The statement did not specify whether a firearm was found.

Police said criminal charges were pending against the man, whose identity has not been released, but did not say what they might be.

The security scare at El Mirage came just over two months after a mass shooting and botched police response at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, that left 19 people dead and two teachers dead.

People walk outside Thompson Ranch Elementary School during a school lockdown due to reports of a suspicious person on campus.KPNXName

Outside the school in Arizona on Friday, the three parents were arrested as several parents said they were going to the locked campus to protect their children, Chavez said.

“As a parent, I understand that philosophy, however, there were procedures that law enforcement and the school followed,” Chavez told reporters at the scene.

One of those arrested, a man described as the “primary instigator,” was armed and a handgun fell to the ground during his arrest, Chavez said.

The other two, a man and a woman, were shocked and arrested after coming to his aid, he said.

“They were physically trying to enter campus and they were getting into physical altercations with our officers,” Chavez said. “They were forcefully pushing officers trying to enter the campus.”

Police had converged on the elementary school after school staff reported that a person who appeared to have a handgun attempted to enter an outside building, but the door was locked and the man walked away. been chased away by staff, Chavez said.

Some of the information was contradictory, Chavez said. At one point, as police were clearing a hallway, they found what was described as a suspicious package, prompting students and staff to leave the area, he said. The police statement said it had been “made safe”, but did not specify what object it was.

It is illegal to have firearms on school campus, Chavez said. The relative with the firearm faces a charge related to that violation as well as disorderly conduct, he said. The charges against the other two parents were unclear. Their names have not been disclosed.

One of the parents was injured and taken to hospital for treatment, he said.

Dysart Unified School District in a statement reminded parents that during a lockdown, no one can enter or leave campus.

“This is done in partnership with law enforcement so they can clear every part of campus to keep all students and staff safe. Additionally, schools are gun-free zones and it is a crime to possess a firearm on any school campus,” the district said.

El Mirage is a town of about 35,800 people, about 15 miles northwest of downtown Phoenix. Thompson Elementary is a K-8 school with more than 600 students, according to its website.

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