A Lubbock elementary school proves practice makes perfect. Lubbock Police commend Ramirez Elementary for its quick reaction to situation which could've turned dangerous.
LISD schools practice lockdown drills at least twice a year, but on Thursday, May19, it wasn't a drill. That's when, a suspect was running from police after a citizen reported him trying to steal a car. Shortly after, he ran through the main entrance of the school; the lockdown call came seconds later.
Dozens of noises fill the halls of Ramirez Elementary on a given weekday afternoon. That changed in an instant Thursday afternoon when a man running from police bolted through the main doors of the school.
Seconds later Assistant Principal, Stace McEwen announced the lockdown call, "at this time we will be observing a secure in place." The reaction time was so quick that the announcement went out while police were still chasing the suspect through the building.
Soon after the announcement, teachers locked their classroom doors, covered the windows of the doors and hid in the corner. "It's a scary thought that something like that could happen, but we have to have a plan in place, and we're very pleased how everyone responded," said Principal Lisa Ramirez.
Lubbock Police Corporal Chris Bell was the responding officer. He say he's amazed at the school's quick reaction. "I was just quite impressed that they reacted as fast as they did and that procedures LISD sets forth worked," said Bell.
"At that time, I wasn't sure exactly what was occurring because it happened so quickly, but I knew that's what we needed to do to ensure the safety of the children," said Assistant Principal McEwan.
Many students thought it was another drill. Ramirez says that is an example that the school of over 400 is well polished and rehearsed with the lockdown procedure. "Just to know you know what do to should a crisis occur, that's a good feeling," said Ramirez.
Police caught up with the suspect on the other side of the building moments after he entered through the main doors. It's illegal to enter a school without reason, which is why the suspect was charged with criminal trespass of a school.