ST. LOUIS COUNTY, Mo. — A suspect has been identified and taken into custody in a home invasion that prompted emergency procedures at two schools in Kirkwood Wednesday.
Students at Kirkwood Early Childhood Center and North Glendale Elementary School went into a 'lockout' shortly after 12:30 p.m. after police received a report of an armed home invasion in the 600 block of Brownell Avenue, which is just behind the elementary school. The victim of the home invasion fled and called police.
Kirkwood police said the suspect ran off toward the school, leading the school's resource officer to put the school on 'lockout' as a precaution.
A 'lockout' is when only the exterior doors of a facility are locked. A 'lockdown' also includes locking all interior doors, a Kirkwood school spokesperson explained.
North Glendale Elementary School had an early dismissal at 12:30 p.m. Wednesday. The incident happened shortly after, meaning there were about 100 staff members and students still present on campus.
"There was police activity in the area and they encouraged that we go on lockout status, which means that we took all staff and any remaining students that were in the building, asked them to come inside and remain inside," Kirkwood Schools Chief Communications Officer Steph Deidrick explained.
North Glendale Elementary School students didn't expect their last day of school to end quite like it did.
"She told us to run because there was an invasion," said ninth-grader Paige Warfield.
Paige was visiting her former elementary school teachers when administrators went into an emergency 'lockout' procedure.
"I was talking to two of my teachers and they were all kind of panicking and I was kind of confused and so they went into the building and they like locked down," Paige said. "I called my mom and I was running with my friend and we were kind of panicking."
"You do have to acknowledge that national events going on did raise this to an additional level," Deidrick said.
The district notified parents over email and everyone was released by 3 p.m.
Brooks Colvin picked up his daughter before the lockout and is glad everyone is safe.
"Anything like that obviously sparks a ton of emotion because of what's happening, because it can happen anywhere. Definitely nervous, called my wife and just said, 'We're good right?'" Colvin said.
Shortly after 3 p.m., 5 On Your Side spotted kids coming out of North Glendale Elementary. Police cars were also seen in the area.
Kirkwood police and multiple other agencies searched the area, but they could not find the suspect.
Thursday morning, Kirkwood police said that suspect was identified. Police got in touch with the 17-year-old's parents. The boy and his father went to the police station and the teen turned himself in, police said. The 17-year-old was taken into custody and turned over to the St. Louis County Juvenile Detention Center.
Police have said the suspect is not a Kirkwood resident, and the home invasion wasn't a random act.
Kirkwood police also said Wednesday they were interviewing someone else in connection with the incident but described that person as a "subject."
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