Angry Parent Takes Teacher Hostage

Hostage Situation in Castle View Elementary School


SWAT prepares to swarm classroom and rescue the hostage (photo courtesy of Washington Post).

Wayne Chan, Editor

On Halloween Evening, Riverside SWAT officers defused an hours-long hostage situation by killing a parent who detained a teacher in a classroom forcibly.

The parent, a male later identified as 27 year old Luvelle Kennon, made his way into the Castle View Elementary School around 11:20 a.m. of that day, ignoring school protocol to sign in. The secretary described him as “the most upset parent” she had ever seen. When the administrative faculty attempted to stop him, he simply ignored them and continued walking past the main office into the school. A male substitute teacher then confronted the angry parent but was struck across the face. The substitute teacher suffered a broken and bloody nose and cuts and bruises (LA Times).

The angry parent then proceeded to take a teacher, 70 year old Linda Montgomery, hostage in an empty classroom. It remained unknown whether or not the angry parent was armed or not, however, all the children were rounded up and evacuated and returned to their parents around 1 p.m.; all students were accounted for and none injured. After hours of negotiation with the angry parent, negotiators made no contact with Linda Montgomery. Around 6 p.m., having no clue as to the safety and wellbeing of the teacher, SWAT officers decided to swarm the classroom. A few officers fatally opened fire on the angry parent. The parent was then taken to a nearby hospital where he was declared dead in a few hours.

Authorities could not report a motive as to why the angry parent took a teacher hostage, although he did have a daughter in first grade. No one except for the parent himself died, although the substitute and Linda Montgomery suffered some injuries. School has been canceled for the entirety of the next week. Only 20 miles away, another Riverside school suffered from a school shooting that left a student and a teacher dead, causing all Riverside schools to increase security measures (Washington Post).

Regarding the situation, Matt Lee (11) was puzzled: “It seems like such an act of random violence. I don’t understand what the parent possibly thought he could have achieved by holding a teacher hostage. I can’t imagine what this means for the daughter, now that she has to face all her peers even though it wasn’t her fault.”