DERBY, Kan. (KAKE) - Sedgwick County jail records have identified a 35-year-old man who police say tried to enter a Derby elementary school and was armed with a handgun.

Billy Jack Daniels, of Latham, was arrested at Stone Creek Elementary Tuesday morning and booked for criminal possession of a firearm by a felon, possession of a firearm on school grounds, possession of a firearm while under the influence and a hold for another agency, records show.

Billy Jack Daniels (Sedgwick County Jail)

Derby police and USD 260 said the suspect tried to enter the school during morning Latchkey and staff did not let him in. When police contacted him in a vehicle in the parking lot, he had a loaded 9mm handgun in his waistband. 

The Derby schools superintendent said Tuesday afternoon that the suspect is not parent of a student in the district. It's unclear why he was at Stone Creek Elementary.

According to the Kansas Department of Corrections, Daniels has prior convictions in Butler County that include drug possession, possession of paraphernalia and theft. His post-release supervision expired in April. 

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Derby Public Schools says a 35-year-old man armed with a loaded handgun tried to gain access to one of its elementary schools during morning Latchkey.

The incident happened Tuesday at Stone Creek Elementary at 3012 Triple Creek Drive. According to USD 260, staff followed protocol and did not let the man in. Parents later reported the person in the parking lot and notified the school. 

The school went under lockout and police responded. 

"Police informed us after the incident that the individual did have a loaded handgun in his possession," the district said in a release. "There was an outstanding warrant and the individual was arrested."

There were no threats to the school.

Derby Police Chief Robert Lee said the suspect's last known address was in Latham, which is in Butler County. He had a loaded 9mm handgun in his waistband and was arrested for possession of a firearm by a felon, possession of a firearm on school property, possession of drug paraphernalia and an outstanding warrant. 

School records show the man is not parent of a student in the district, according to Superintendent Heather Bohaty. 

Kendra Grewing lives in one of the closest homes to the school, where she says her kids play all the time. She was in shock when she heard what happened.

"It's really nervous to know that there's somebody that's walking around with, you know, a gun or something in the neighborhood," said Grewing. "Just [don't] go down this dark path, like you know, what could have happened. Just recognize that we are here to protect each other, and our students and kids. And that we are thankful that nothing bad happened as we move into the holiday season."

Below is the full message sent to families and staff in the district:

We wanted to make you aware of a situation at Stone Creek Elementary this morning. Stone Creek was placed temporarily in a "Secure" status due to a concern regarding an individual in the school’s front parking lot. Derby Police Department responded quickly. 

“Secure” is one of five actions in our Standard Response Protocol (SRP). Derby Public Schools uses the SRP as a crisis response that helps staff, students, parents and first responders quickly and adequately respond to situations.“Secure” is the action used to safeguard students and staff within the building. During “Secure” all students and staff remain inside the building and lock outside doors. When in “Secure,” business continues as usual in the classroom.

During morning Latchkey, an individual tried to gain access to the building. Staff followed district protocol and did not allow the individual into the building. Parents later reported an individual in the parking lot and notified the school. Building staff reacted promptly, calling 911, and taking the “Secure” action. Derby Police were notified immediately and were able to address the situation while students and staff remained safe inside the building.

Police informed us after the incident that the individual did have a loaded handgun in his possession. There was an outstanding warrant and the individual was arrested. Derby Police are investigating to see what the individual’s purpose for being on school grounds was. The suspect is being interviewed by Derby PD detectives and it is anticipated he will be charged with various weapons violations. At this point, there are no known active threats to the school.

You can find our safety procedures on the SRP Parent Reference Guide HERE. Please know safety and security of our students and staff is always our top priority. If you see something, say something. If you ever have concerns or something you feel needs looked into, please report it. All information is looked into as quickly as possible to see if there is a substantiated situation or threat to address. Anyone, at any time can submit information. There are also ways to submit information anonymously. Learn more HERE. Ways to submit can always be found on the district website at the link above. They are also included here:

  • Please call 911, if in immediate danger
  • Local Police Department or School SRO
  • Notify School Staff
  • The Kansas School Safety Hotline, 1 (877) 626-8203, can be used to anonymously report any potential school violence. The Kansas School Safety Hotline is there for you 24 hours per day, 365 days per year. A Kansas Highway Patrol dispatcher takes your call and notifies the appropriate stakeholders. 
  • Submit an anonymous tip through See Something, Say Something
    • Click HERE to submit a tip and be taken directly to a secure tip reporting website.
    • Download the P3 Tips app from the App Store or Google Play and follow the on-screen prompts.
    • Call (316) 267-2111