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Bolingbrook elementary school locked down

Published: Thursday, May 16, 2013 10:55 a.m. CDT

(MCT) BOLINGBROOK, Ill. — An elementary school in west suburban Bolingbrook was locked down after school Wednesday because building staff noticed a man walking outside the school, knocking on doors and holding his hand in the shape of a gun.

Liberty Elementary staff noticed the man at about 4:15 p.m., after school had been dismissed, according to a statement released by Plainfield Community Consolidated School District 202.

Police responded to the school and found a 40-year-old Lockport man attempting to enter the school, according to Bolingbrook police spokesman Lt. Michael Rompa. Police secured the school before the man reached the front door, he said.

Police apprehended the man, checked the inside and outside of the building and released students and staff at about 4:45 p.m.

Officers determined the man was unarmed and mentally ill, Rompa said in an email Wednesday night.

He was transported to Adventist Bolingbrook Hospital for evaluation and his vehicle was towed “for investigative purposes,” according to Rompa.

Police found the man’s roommate and checked their Lockport home for additional information, which yielded nothing “other than further details on the subject’s medical condition,” Rompa said.

Rompa said no further details were available as of late Wednesday and the incident remains under investigation.

Although the school day was already done, several dozen students were still in the building for after school programs and Girl Scout meetings.

Bolingbrook police were immediately called and the school was put on lockdown, according to the statement. The man never entered the school and did not have any weapons.

All 30 schools in the district regularly conduct shooter drills, according to school district spokesman Tom Hernandez, including multiple-intruder drills that are sometimes observed by police.

A new focus has been to drill beyond the classroom, when students are in hallways, at lunch or recess, Hernandez said, and the students and staff followed their training by reporting the man.

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©2013 the Chicago Tribune

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