by Caitlan Moran
(This article was originally published by the Seattle Times and has been reprinted with permission)
Seattle police say the quick actions of a student potentially prevented an armed man from harming people at Rainier Beach High School on Friday.
The suspect, a 35-year-old, allegedly threatened to shoot his ex-girlfriend, her family and others at the school, where she works, police said.The ex-girlfriend called 911 at 7:30 a.m. Friday to report the threats. Police checked the suspect’s home but did not find him. Meanwhile, the school was put on lockdown.
Shortly before noon, the suspect approached a student outside the school and asked if the building had metal detectors. The student thought the question was suspicious and reported it to a school-resource officer. Police quickly found the man at a nearby community center.
The suspect was armed with a loaded, 9 mm handgun and was wearing black latex gloves, police said.
“We believe that the quick thinking from the student and a very prompt and timely police response potentially prevented something much worse,” said police spokesman Sgt. Sean Whitcomb.
The suspect is being held at King County Jail on suspicion of felony harassment, assault and unlawful possession of a firearm.
Bail has been set at $500,000.