Region 8 Man Charged After Bringing Gun To Elementary School - KAIT Jonesboro, AR - Region 8 News, weather, sports

Caraway, AR -- Heather Flanigan Reports

Region 8 Man Charged After Bringing Gun To Elementary School

May 11, 2005 – Posted at 7:22 p.m. CDT

CARAWAY, AR -- A Region 8 man is in charged with aggravated assault and possessing a firearm on school property and could be facing federal charges as well.

21-year-old Blaine Wilkinson allegedly brought a gun onto the property of Riverside East Elementary and began making threats toward his wife, who works as a teacher's aide at the school.

When Tuesday incident happened, law enforcement was called to the scene and the school went into a temporary lockdown. It's a scary situation, but school official’s say knowing how to react and preparing for a situation like this can keep the nearly 400 students at Riverside East Elementary safe.

“I think it’s terrible that people think they can come to school with a gun and put our kids in danger,” said parent Michelle Pettit, “I think the school did a good job protecting our kids,”

“I think they should have called the parents or at least sent a not home to notify the parents that there was something going on at the school,” said parent Carolyn Whaley as she picked up her son and two nieces.

Susan Boone said, “It just scared everybody, but like I said, the school did an excellent job and the police did an excellent job.”

Superintendent Larry Nowlin said the lockdown went well. It’s something the student practice often.

“We shut everything down. The kids were not in any danger at any time. We maintained a secure campus and the police stayed out there with us until they left to apprehend him. It was just one of those things that the school was a part of, but not really involved in,” said Nowlin.

Nowlin said being prepared can make all the difference when it’s for real.

“It’s a big deal anytime you are talking about the safety of the kids. We always, always put that first,” said Nowlin.

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