RICHMOND, Ind. (WKEF/WRGT) - Neighbors said the suspect who shot his way into a Richmond middle school lived only a mile away.
Those same neighbors witnessed Indiana State Police and the FBI search the suspect’s home, hours after he took his own life.
Thanks to a tip, Dennis Intermediate School was already on lockdown and no students were hurt
“Had they not made that call, there is no doubt in my mind that we would be having a much different conversation here right now,” Indiana State Police Captain David Bursten said.
The caller warned police that an armed 14 year old was heading toward the school
“When the officers arrived on the scene, they knew who they were looking for,” Bursten said. “They confronted him. He shot out the glass to the door. He entered the door; the officers pursued.”
According to pal-item.com, those officers received help from someone inside the school office who was watching the suspect on security cameras and feeding his location to dispatch
“Just two weeks ago, the staff went through this process just to update them about what to expect in case of an emergency, and wow,” Richmond School Board member Deborah Moore said. “The plan was put into place. A little tough, bumpy areas but they handled it.”
The suspect and police exchanged gunfire which ended with the teen taking his own life in a second story stairwell.
According to FOX59, Peggy Lewis was in the area at the time and said she ran into the suspect’s father.
“He was telling me how his son had been bullied and they took him out of school and they thought he was doing well,” Lewis said, “but he thinks he’s been planning this for a while.”
Police have not released the identity of who sent in the tip, but according to Lewis, the boy’s father knew he had the intent to kill.
“He just said his son took all of his guns this morning and told him if he didn’t take him wherever, he said if he didn’t take him, he was going to kill him too,” Lewis said.
Dennis Intermediate will remain closed Friday and Monday as the investigation continues.
Superintendent Todd Terrill said the rest of the district will be open, but with an increased police presence.
Counseling services for students of Dennis Intermediate will be made available at the Boys and Girls Club of Richmond Friday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.