Kenwood Elementary School was placed on lock down on Friday after police say a man was found on school property with several BB guns.
Kenwood Elementary Assistant Principal Katie Williams
Kenwood Principal Jill Handley
LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - A very observant assistant principal and student saved a Louisville school from what could have been a terrifying situation. Kenwood Elementary School was placed on lock down on Friday after police say a man was found on school property with several BB guns.
You can call it a gut feeling that first let Kenwood Elementary Assistant Principal Katie Williams know something was wrong.
On Friday, Williams saw Dijon Gaines, 19, lingering around the school.
"We're trained to look for this kind of stuff and we knew what to do," said Williams.
She felt like something was off because she had noticed him around school property the day before and immediately contacted staff when she saw him again.
"Kind of in front of those trees watching the kids sitting down," said Williams. "All of our teachers have radios so, I radioed the teacher to keep an eye out for this young man. At that point, one of the students went over to the teacher and thought that he had a gun."
The 30 students who were outside for recess were rushed into the school and the school went into lockdown mode. Principal Jill Handley said the students knew exactly what to do because they have been practicing emergency disaster drills.
"It could have been that we over reacted but, as far as we tell our kids everyday is our number one priority is making sure they are safe," said Kenwood Principal Jill Handley.
When officers with the Louisville Metro Police Department got to the school, they said they stopped Gaines, who was on school property. Police said Gaines had five BB guns on him and no reason for being at the school.
He was arrested and came before a judge on Saturday. The judge ordered him not to have any further contact with any school or have any weapons, including BB guns.
A letter went home with students explaining the situation.
"Ms. Williams, she is the hero of the day there is no doubt about that," said Handley.
"I don't think you can ever be too cautious when it comes to the lives of children," said Williams.
Gaines is charged with disorderly conduct and criminal trespassing. The judge actually lowered his bond from $10,000 to $1,000 full cash. Gaines does have a criminal history, an assault charge from 2012.
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