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Suspect threatened, pointed gun at Greenwood Elementary staff

Published: Mar. 19, 2021 at 12:13 AM EDT
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Patrick Wesley
Patrick Wesley(LMDC)
The man was found outside the school building, but did not enter the school.
The man was found outside the school building, but did not enter the school.(WAVE 3 News)
Students Go Home After Lockdown, Parents React
Students Go Home After Lockdown, Parents React(WAVE3 News)

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - An “irate” armed man tried to get inside an elementary school while class was still in session, just two days after JCPS returned to in person learning.

The incident happened within moments during lunchtime at Greenwood Elementary.

The suspect threatened staff and pointed his weapon at them, WAVE 3 News Troubleshooters have learned.

According to sources, Patrick Wesley, 36, told staff they had 10 minutes to get his child before trying to break into the school several times. He then allegedly pointed the gun at school staff, threatening them.

The entire school was placed on lockdown.

After not being able to enter, the suspect got into his vehicle before witnesses said he tried to ram the doors. One victim had to run to get out of the way, Troubleshooters learned.

Wesley was arrested by LMPD and charged with terroristic threatening, charged with two counts of wanton endangerment, and the unlawful possession of a weapon on school property.

JCPS said no injuries were reported in the incident.

Patrick’s arrest history shows a previous charge related to domestic violence, court records show.

Parents already had anxious feelings about sending their kids back to in person schooling, but that emotion skyrocketed, after knowing Greenwood Elementary School went on lockdown Thursday afternoon. Parents rushed to the pick-up line on the school’s campus.

“I was racing, feeling like ‘I need to hurry up and get there, hurry up and get there,” said Jennifer Yeager.

The mother of two picks up her daughters, Brooklyn and Aaliyah, everyday from school. However, Thursday’s routine was anything but normal.

”I didn’t know anything until almost it was time to pick her up,” Yeager said.

Once Yeager’s youngest daughter, Aaliyah was in the cafeteria when Patrick Wesley, 27, allegedly tried to get into the school.

”I know it, especially my girls, (you do) everything you can to be a mom and protect your kids,” said Yeager.

She and other Greenwood Elementary School parents commend the schools strategic response, despite the emotional toll families face.

JCPS said because Wesley didn’t have proper identification, he wasn’t allow in, school administration kept the doors locked, security responded quickly and LMPD arrested the suspect all within minutes.

Those officers were idols to Liam Staples, a stellar student who said he wants to be like them when he grows up.

”I want to be a police [officer],” Liam said.

The first grader’s mom, Allison Staples, says it alleviated her distress seeing the good news in the email.

”He’s only in first grade and this is day one, back after quarantine, he was worried this morning,” Staples said. “We’ll have a conversation about that.”

The following email was sent to Greenwood parents after the incident:

“Dear Greenwood Parent/Guardian,

This letter is to inform you of an incident that occurred at our school today. I want to make sure that you have accurate information and dispel any rumors you may have heard about the incident.

During lunchtime, an irate man attempted to get into our school building without proper identification. At one point the man displayed a gun while trying to get into the cafeteria. Our school immediately increased its security level. Staff and students were escorted from the cafeteria and all school staff and students were locked inside their classrooms and offices.

Louisville Metro Police arrived quickly and arrested the suspect. Everyone is safe.

Please be assured that the safety and well-being of your child is always foremost in everything we do. Our goal is to keep our safe and nurturing school environment a place where all students learn at high levels and have fun. We have great confidence in our emergency procedures and safety plan in the event that they are ever needed as was the case today.

If you have any further questions concerning this incident, please do not hesitate to call me at 502-485-8260. Thank you for your support and assistance in keeping our school safe for everyone.

Sincerely,

Jamiera Johnson, Principal

Greenwood Elementary School”

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WAVE 3 News Now. Watch Anytime. Anywhere.(WAVE 3 News)

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