Parent Killed After Teacher Held Hostage at Riverside School

The father of a first grader made his way past the main office where he held a teacher hostage in a classroom for seven hours.
Published: November 1, 2017

A California elementary school was evacuated on Tuesday after a parent barricaded himself in a classroom with a teacher. The man was shot by police and pronounced dead at the hospital.

The suspect, identified as 27-year-old Luvelle Kennon, entered Castle View Elementary in Riverside and allegedly punched a substitute teacher in the face before taking a female teacher hostage in a classroom, reports ABC News.

Riverside Unified School District spokesman Justin Grayson says the incident happened around 11:15 a.m. when the man, whose daughter is a first grader at the school, forced his way past staff in the main office.

A witness, Elizabeth Reyes, says Kennon was having a conversation with office staff before rushing past them.

——Article Continues Below——

Get the latest industry news and research delivered directly to your inbox.

When confronted by a substitute teacher, Kennon struck him in the face, breaking his nose. The suspect then took the hostage, identified as Linda Montgomery, into an empty classroom.

All classrooms were empty as students were at lunch at the time of the incident.

Montgomery sustained scrapes and abrasions from being pulled into the classroom by Kennon. Officials say she is in good condition, according to the L.A. Times.

Members of the Riverside Police and the SWAT team kept the incident contained to the classroom and negotiators were called in to assist.

“As far as we know, nothing’s been reported that anyone saw actual weapons of any kind,” said Officer Ryan Railsback during the standoff. “He’s not responding to our commands for him to come out, so far. He’s barricaded himself in there and he’s got a teacher in there so it’d be a barricaded hostage situation.”

Students Evacuated, Teacher Held Hostage for 7 Hours

After an hour of lockdown, students were evacuated by bus to nearby Castleview Park.

Parents say there were alerted of the incident by an automated call around 12:40 p.m.

All students were accounted for and released to parents, says Grayson. Parents were required to show ID before leaving with any students.

The seven-hour standoff ended when authorities did not hear from Montgomery during negotiation talks. Two flash-bang grenades were detonated and authorities entered the classroom around 6 p.m., where Kennon was subsequently shot during the victim’s rescue. He was pronounced dead at Riverside Community Hospital.

Carl Jackson, who identified himself as the suspect’s uncle, says Kennon is not dangerous but had “relapsed again” and “had a breakdown”. Other family members say they took Kennon’s car keys away earlier that morning.

Officer Railsback says authorities are still unsure if there had been previous issues with the parent at the school or if he had a weapon. A potential motive is unknown.

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

Strategy & Planning Series
Strategy & Planning Series
Strategy & Planning Series
Strategy & Planning Series
Strategy & Planning Series