The gunman has a Mama

Sheriff:  Gunman held Chelsea students at gunpoint

Feb 12, 2013 3:59 PM CST
Tuesday, February 12, 2013 4:59 PM ESTUpdated:
Feb 12, 2013 8:41 PM CST
Tuesday, February 12, 2013 9:41 PM EST

By Melynda Sides – email
By Jonathan Hardison – bio | email

Chelsea Middle School was placed on lockdown Tuesday afternoon. Source: Jonathan HardisonChelsea Middle School was placed on lockdown Tuesday afternoon. Source: Jonathan Hardison

CHELSEA, AL (WBRC) -One person has been detained for questioning after holding students at gunpoint at Chelsea Middle School, according to the Shelby County Sheriff’s Department.At approximately 3:10 on Tuesday afternoon Chelsea Middle School and Chelsea Intermediate School were placed on lockdown after a man entered the school and held children against their will at gunpoint.  It happened in a girl’s locker room off the gym.A parent named Tracy Dale Greene told FOX6 News reporter Jonathan Hardison that his daughter was in a girl’s locker room when an unknown man walked in with a handgun.Greene said his daughter told him the man waved the gun around, pointed it at the class of girls and said, ‘Y’all need to get out of here.'”

Greene says his daughter called her gym teacher a hero for stepping in front of the gunman and telling everyone to get out of the room before calling police.

The suspect is a former Chelsea Middle School student and a former part time summer help employee, according to the sheriff’s department.

A Shelby County Deputy/School Resource Officer was at the school and able to negotiate the release of children in about 20 minutes.
The FBI and the ATF were called to the school.  A bomb squad checked school the for bombs, but did not find any.  Deputies say he was working alone.
A suspect in custody, but has not been officially charged yet.

His motive is not known at this time.
School will be in session tomorrow.  Four deputies will be on duty at the school, as well as a counselor.

Copyright 2013 WBRC. All rights reserved.

On a more personal note, our Morgan (7th grade) and Joseph (4th grade) were at school when this happened. Morgan was in the gym standing by a teacher when a girl ran up saying there was a man with a gun in the girls locker room. According to Morgan the teacher got all the students out of the gym quickly into an adjoining hall then into locked class rooms before running to the office to advice them of the situation.  Morgan said there were lots of crying but the staff was great at keeping everyone calm and getting to the safe zones.  Joseph was at the adjoining Intermediate school and going by what he told us he and the other students were moved several times as the crisis rose to safer places.  Morgan and students were evacuated toward the football field where they huddled in the rain behind the cars of the terrified parents waiting in-car rider line.  So much terror as parents arrived to pick up their children only to see the front of the school roped off with caution tape, hordes of police cars, emergency vehicles and such. I didn’t know any of this was happening until nearly 4:00p.m when none of the children had come home yet.  The busses that had children on them were sent away from the school to deliver them while the ones that were waiting to get on the bus were rushed into the locked rooms.  Morgan was able to get a hold of Trey and tell him what was going on who then called me so by the time a bus came with Mary and Jordan I knew a little bit.  Jordan and Mary came running off saying Joseph wasn’t on the bus something was happening at the school but don’t worry they (the bus) would bring him home later.  What a wrenching afternoon as we waited for them to come home! The news had little to no information yet so we only knew what Morgan could relay to us.  When Joseph got off the bus he ran, sprinted into the house and wrapped his arms around me crying. His face was so stressed and his eyes puffy from lots of crying.  Needless to say he was traumatized, he didn’t even want to talk about it.  How scary for a 10 year old to be have to run from a safe room onto a bus with swat officers escorting you!!!!  On the lighter side Morgan took the opportunity to show his compassion toward the crying girls and offered himself as a “Cuddle Buddy”!  We praise and thank God that all the children went home safely yesterday and that no harm came to the gunman(boy) as well.  We have come to find out that he is the son of our older boys bus driver whom we know well.  How awful for this family. As a family we are praying for that entire family as they hurt and deal with this tragedy. Our hope is that the Chelsea community will support this sweet family and pour out their love to them even as so many insults, lies, condemnation is being hurdled toward them and their beloved son on social media.  The gunman has a mama that has shown kindness, grace, joyousness toward my children on her bus and who has safely guarded them taking them to and from school for years.                 

Judge not lest ye be judge  Matthew 7:1 


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