Northwest NEWS

March 29, 1999

Valley Special

Student reports seeing armed man next to Stillwater School

by Lisa Allen, Valley View editor

   Stillwater Elementary School was locked down for almost two hours March 19 after a student reported seeing a man with a gun near the playfields.

   According to school district officials, the six-year-old student was playing with two others near a perimeter fence at about 1 p.m. when the student said he turned around to see a man on the other side of the fence holding a handgun. The children alerted the playfield supervisors who brought all the students inside and locked the school doors. The lockdown remained until school was dismissed.

   Riverview Superintendent Jack Ernst said King County Police searched the area but didn't find anyone matching the description the student gave of the suspect. The student said the man had a red beard and was wearing a black hat and camouflage clothing. Ernst said letters were sent informing parents of the incident.

   "School officials initiated emergency procedures," Ernst said. "No adults saw anything, but the police have been checking on the school daily since then."

   King County Police Sgt. Bonnie Soule said an officer has been visiting the school in a "supportive role," and that safety classes for the students are planned for this week. She added that if anyone in the area has any information about the incident to call King County Police.