Barricaded Hostage Situation Resolved at Elementary School

Published: 10/31/2017

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                                               

October 31, 2017

MEDIA CONTACT:                                                             

Officer Ryan J. Railsback
Riverside Police Deparmtnet
Community Services Bureau
(951) 217-4572

Justin Grayson
Riverside Unified School District
Public Information Officer
(850) 445-7409

RIVERSIDE, CA – On Tuesday, October 31, 2017, at about 11:12 a.m., the Riverside Police and Fire Dispatch Center received a 9-1-1 call regarding a disturbance and altercation involving a parent at Castleview Elementary School, located at 6201 Shaker Drive.  As officers were responding, additional calls were received stating this incident escalated into a barricaded hostage situation. 

Responding officers arrived and immediately began containing and isolating the building the suspect was held up in with a teacher who he took hostage.  Additional officers and school staff began evacuating students from the school grounds to a safe location.  More resources began arriving that included the METRO (SWAT) Team, Emergency Negotiators Team (ENT), Technical Services Unit (Bomb Squad), along with officers, detectives, and supervision from patrol, traffic, and other assignments.  All students and staff were evacuated to nearby Castleview Park and arrangements were made to have children reunited with family.

Officers determined the suspect had barricaded himself inside a classroom holding a female teacher hostage.  METRO Team officers conducted tactical operations around the building and ENT members began attempting to make contact with the suspect.  At times, the suspect was communicating with ENT members but the safety and well-being of the teacher was unknown.  After hours of trying to convince the suspect to surrender, the METRO Team entered the classroom to rescue the teacher and an officer-involved shooting occurred.  The suspect was shot and the teacher was successfully rescued. 

The teacher was taken to a local hospital for medical evaluation and is currently in good condition with minor injuries.  The suspect sustained gunshot wounds and was transported to a local hospital where he succumbed to those injuries and pronounced deceased.  A male substitute teacher was also taken to the hospital earlier during this incident after being struck by the suspect while attempting to intervene and prevent him from taking the other teacher hostage.  This substitute teacher sustained a broken nose and other facial injuries.

Detectives from the Robbery – Homicide Unit and Technicians from the Forensics Unit responded to assume the investigation.  They are being assisted by the Riverside County District Attorney’s Office and the Riverside County Sheriff-Coroner.  The suspect has been identified as Luvelle Kennon, 27-years-old of Riverside.

Superintendent of the Riverside Unified School District, Dr. David Hansen, stated “I want to begin by thanking the Riverside Police and Fire Departments, the City of Riverside, and all RUSD staff and administrators who have helped bring this situation to an end.  Safety is our number one priority, and in this case because of the quick work and collaboration of our first responders and RUSD staff, all students, and now all staff, are accounted for and safe.”

This investigation is on-going and there are no other details available at this time.  Castleview Elementary School will remain closed for the rest of this week, and crisis counselors and support staff will be available for all students and staff affected by today’s incident.

Anyone with information about this incident should contact Detective Adrian Tillett at (951) 353- 7105 or Detective Karla Beler at (951) 353-7138.