Alarmed parents swarmed a Texas high school after reports of a shooting on campus, leading to a chaotic standoff with police.
Jefferson High School was placed on lockdown on Tuesday, Sept. 20, after a call to the San Antonio Police Department reported shots fired in a classroom, according to a news release from the school. Nearly 100 officers, including SAPD and the school district’s own police, “responded immediately,” surrounding and searching the building.
The report of the shooting was quickly dismissed as false, but hundreds of parents who feared their children might be in danger were already at school or on their way, news outlets reported.
Tensions reached a high as some parents tried to enter the schoolwhile others demanded the immediate release of their children, TV station WOAI reported.
At one point, the man uses a large knife to break a window, apparently trying to enter the building, the agency reported. He injures himself in the process and is tackled to the ground by the police. the video shows.
A group of parents approach the injured man while officers form a human barricade against the crowd. Police commands cannot be distinguished among the shouts and screams.
“We gripped by fear from the worst,” Pete Vella, the 15-year-old student’s father, told the San Antonio Express-News.
Uvalde was at the top of many parents’ minds, outlets reported.
May 24 primary school school shooting 21 people were killed, including 19 children, and it took law enforcement 80 minutes to kill the shooter. Parents gathered around the school, many eager to get inside and take action, while well-armed officers inside and outside the building waited to see if more lives could be saved.
A similar frenzied and frustrated atmosphere was seen in San Antonio on Tuesday, the Express-News reports.
Uvalde is about 85 miles west of San Antonio.
“I definitely got here fast. I left work and came quickly, Vela said, waiting outside the school with his wife. “At the end of the day, if someone was there, I don’t blame the parents for wanting to come in, especially after what happened in Uvalde.”
The false report of a shooting may have been related to a fight between several students at Jefferson High School, Jaime Aquino, superintendent of the San Antonio Independent School District, said in a statement.
“We acknowledge that today was an inconvenient day,” the statement said. “Security is the procedure we followed today and will continue to follow to keep you and your loved ones safe.”
Aquino added that counseling services will be available to students and staff.
“Many of us are parents ourselves, and all our students are like children. We will do everything we can to keep everyone out of harm’s way.”