Gunman Runs into Grantville Church and Preschool

| October 16, 2009

SAN DIEGO – A church preschool was on lock down after an armed gunman took refuge there on Thursday. After about an hour officers found the suspect inside the Mission Church of the Nazarene in the same building as the preschool, but teachers say the children never even knew something was wrong.

"It was nap time, so thank God the kids were all done and sleeping and the don’t know what’s going on."

Parents were relieved to be united with their children, but there were some tense moments for them when parents saw dozens of officers surrounding the church, but no way of knowing if the gunman was holding them hostage.

"Kind of hard to describe," said parent Matthew Lab. "A little moment of panic — a rush of adrenaline to do whatever is needed to come over and make sure he was ok."

The alleged crime spree began when the suspect pointed a gun at the teller of a La Mesa Shell station and demanded cash. The teller says he handed over about $80. He says his boss went looking for the suspect, and the boss wound up in a car with the robber. The two got into an altercation and the suspect got out of the car near the Grantville Post Office just feet from the church. The suspect then reportedly tried to carjack an elderly woman’s car by punching her in the jaw.

Several men in the area chased him into the church. The suspect surrendered without a fight but could now face years behind bars for robbery and carjacking related charges.


Category: Church Security

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