Cleveland, OH – Administrators at a high school in Cleveland have some serious explaining to do after video and audio recordings showed they let four armed, masked teens into the school building last month while classes were in session because they were trying to protect the suspects from the police outside (video below).
Police said the incident occurred on Sept. 14 at Garrett Morgan High School in the 4600-block of Detroit Avenue on the west side of Cleveland, WJW reported.
A school security officer saw the teens pull up to the high school in three cars and get out wearing masks and carrying guns.
Police said the cars the teens arrived in were stolen, WJW reported.
The school security officer called 911 and the school was placed into lockdown.
Audio recordings of the 911 called showed the security officer was yelling at someone not to let the armed teens into the school, WJW reported.
“Do not let them in the building!” the security officer yelled. “Do not let anybody through that door, people.”
The call taker asked the security officer whether the armed teens were approaching the front or the back of the school building, the recording showed.
The security officer can be heard in the background screaming repeatedly for others not to let the armed teens into the building.
Then the security officer told 911 that the suspects were inside the high school building.
“They’re inside the building,” the security officer said in the recording. “They’re in the outer part.”
The security officer was referring to a locked, glass-walled vestibule at the school’s entrance, WJW reported.
“They got in the building?” the dispatcher asked in an incredulous voice.
“Keep the school locked down!” the dispatcher ordered the security officer in the recording.
A witness told police that “two assistant principals from leadership let the males into the building,” WJW reported.
“I… confirmed that the interior doors were locked… and instructed the four suspects to come to the vestibule because it was unsafe to be outside because I saw police officers,” another witness told detectives in his formal statement.
Cleveland police officers arrived on the scene quickly, WJW reported.
Officer entered the vestibule and ordered the suspects out of the building, bodycam video showed.
“What am I being detained for?” an armed, masked teen asked a police officer in the video.
Then the boys all bolted different directions and fled police on foot.
There was a prolonged foot chase and officers ultimately caught up with and detained three of the four suspects, WJW reported.
Police recovered two guns on the three suspects that were taken into custody.
The fourth suspect was not apprehended.
Two of the three teens were sent home after being cited and ordered to appear in juvenile court, WJW reported.
But the third suspect – one of the juveniles caught with a weapon in his possession – was also wanted in an unrelated robbery case and was kept in custody.
Parents and community members were furious at the school administrators’ handling of the very dangerous situation while almost 300 9th through 12th graders sat in classrooms just feet away from the scene.
The National Fraternal Order of Police (FOP) posted the audio of the 911 call and expressed its horror at school administrators admitting masked gunmen to the school building.
‼️⚠️ RECKLESS + DANGEROUS ⚠️‼️@CLEMetroSchools administrators at Garrett Morgan HS allowed MASKED GUNMEN to enter the school in order to protect the gunmen from *wait for it* police officers outside.
They risked the lives of CHILDREN to show how woke they are. Can’t make it up pic.twitter.com/NyQAtcAj6r
— National Fraternal Order of Police (FOP) (@GLFOP) October 12, 2022
The Cleveland Metropolitan School District released a statement defending the decision made by the Garrett Morgan High School principals, WJW reported.
“As one of the witness statements indicates, the males entered a controlled, secured area that is specifically designed to prevent access to the rest of the building,” the statement read. “Cleveland police had already arrived on the scene and were able to make arrests.”
“The staff member made a split-second decision that the individual thought was the best way to keep students and staff safe,” the statement read.
Watch the incident unfold in the video below. WARNING – Graphic Content: