Hostage-taking ends peacefully at A.E. Cross
Upset over an old injury, a 25-year-old former A.E. Cross Junior HighSchool student allegedly held a school secretary at knifepoint foralmost two hours Thursday, according to police.
Upset over an old injury, a 25-year-old former A.E. Cross Junior High School student allegedly held a school secretary at knifepoint for almost two hours Thursday, according to police.
Police say the hostage situation at the southwest school ended when the suspect was handed a bottle of water, but for two hours parents, police and students were on edge — especially as a 13-year-old student hid in the office, unbeknownst to the suspect.
“The tactical negotiator, backed up by the negotiating team, managed to negotiate with the suspect to release the hostage in exchange for a bottle of water,” said Duty Insp. Frank Reuser.
Reuser said students were evacuated from the school gym, where a pep rally with Carolyn Darbyshire, a silver medallist with the Olympic women’s curling team, was taking place just before 2:30 p.m. Students were taken to nearby Glenbrook School.
“Apparently, (the suspect) suffered an injury some years back. He is blaming the principal for that injury and now he wants to talk to that principal,” Reuser said while on scene.
Sapphire Lucas, whose 15-year-old daughter Sydney goes to A.E. Cross, said she wasn’t too worried until she drove by the school and saw police and ambulances standing by.
“Until I saw that I was fine,” she said.
Lucas praised the school for its response to the incident, saying staff did “amazingly well” in making sure everyone was safe and parents were notified.
Sydney said she was “kind of rattled by everything.”
The tactical team led the handcuffed suspect out the front doors around 4 p.m. and Reuser said no one was harmed.
David Stevenson, the Calgary Board of Education’s deputy chief superintendent, said the students followed emergency procedures confidently.
“Our emergency process worked well and our commitment to student and staff safety remains paramount. As is standard procedure, we are reviewing this situation,” he said in a statement.