UPDATE -- 2/13/14 -- 4:24 p.m.
Wichita Public Schools commend a fast-acting staff member for identifying an intruder inside Irving Elementary School.
Police said the intruder was one of two suspects who were fleeing from officers during a police chase. That chase ended in a crash at 15th Street and Park Place – close to Irving Elementary – around 9 a.m. Those suspects are accused from stealing a vehicle from a west Wichita home Wednesday.
One of the suspects ran from that crash site and into the elementary school.
“All of the kindergarten parents go one way and he went the opposite way. That sent off an immediate red flag,” said Sgt. Jeff Davis of the Wichita Police Department.
“The staff person immediately picked up that this person did not belong in this school, remained calm, which is what we teach people to do, and made sure that both the staff and students inside the school were safe,” added Terri Moses, the executive director of Safety Services at Wichita Public Schools.
Moses said that staff members are trained multiple times a year for these kinds of high-risk situations. Teachers and staff will often have table discussions, where they reflect on a situation, like when an intruder comes onto campus, and look at how they should handle such a situation before school, during classes or high-traffic times like when parents are around.
“We hope by giving different people scenarios and letting them as a group, walk through them and work through them as a group, walk through them and work through them, we cover a variety of situations so that – we’re never going to cover all of them – but we hope to cover enough situations that any employee of this school will have an idea of what the best thing to do in that situation is,” Moses said.
After this incident, Moses said the district would review its policy of who can have access to the school, including if parents should be able to walk in the building and drop off or pick up their children.
Police say a suspect entered a school after running from officers in north Wichita.
Officers had been in pursuit of a stolen car when the driver crashed on 15th between Market and Park Place. Two men then ran from the car.
According to police, one of the men then entered nearby Irving Elementary as students and their parents were coming in. A staff member saw him walking a different direction from students and parents, and began to follow him. He then left the school through a different door.
Officers searched the entire building, but there was no sign of either suspect.
Irving and North High were locked down, but that has since been lifted. Officers are still searching for the men.
KAKE News has a crew in the area. Check back for updates.