Parent Holds Teacher Hostage for Six Hours at California School

Trevor Jackson
November 2, 2017

Maria Ortiz consoles her 5th-grade daughter, Crystal Godinez, after she was released from evacuation at Castle View Elementary School in Riverside, Calif., on October 31, 2017. The door is unlocked all day, Grayson said, because the door not only allows visitors to enter the campus, but it also serves as the entry to the office for students.

US police shot and killed a man suspected of holding a 70-year-old teacher hostage for almost seven hours in a Southern California elementary classroom Tuesday evening.

Exactly how the incident at Castle View Elementary School began was not clear, but it quickly became violent. The man was shot by police and pronounced dead at the hospital.

When confronted by a substitute teacher, Kennon struck him in the face, breaking his nose. Family members and the school identified her as first-grade instructor Linda Montgomery, who had taught at the school for about 20 years.

The incident was reported at Castleview Elementary School, at 6201 Shaker Drive, said Ryan Railsback, a spokesman for the Riverside Police Department.

The children were at lunch and were not in the classroom when Kennon strode onto campus without signing in at 11:15 a.m., said Justin Grayson, a spokesman for the Riverside Unified School District.

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Police began releasing students to their parents after 1 p.m. Parents were required to show ID before leaving with any students.

The parent, who died at a hospital, was identified by Riverside authorities late Tuesday as Luvelle Kennon, 27, but no other information about him was released.

"He had a breakdown, and he relapsed again", Carl Jackson, who said he is Kennon's uncle, told ABC 7. Other family members say they took Kennon's vehicle keys away earlier that morning.

Police negotiators worked to de-escalate the situation for hours, but the decision to enter the classroom finally had to be made, Railsback said.

The school will be closed for the rest of the week but counselors will be available for students and staff.

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