RIVERSIDE, Calif. - Students and staff were welcomed back to Castle View Elementary School in Riverside Monday.
The elementary school had been closed since Tuesday, when a parent who took a teacher hostage was eventually shot and killed by police.
The school, located at 6201 Shaker Drive, remained closed the rest of the week, but community members and law enforcement came out to greet those returning to the school Monday and welcome them with a teddy bear, KTLA reported.
“We want to just show our support for these kids and their parents … We’re going to be here as long as we need to,” said Officer Ryan Railsback, a spokesman for the Riverside Police Department.
Tuesday’s seven-hour standoff at the school began around lunchtime when a parent, later identified by police as 27-year-old Luvelle Kennon, took a teacher hostage and barricaded himself inside a classroom.
The teacher, 70-year-old Linda Montgomery, is listed on the school’s website as a first grade teacher.
Unable to get Kennon to exit the classroom, officers stormed the building and an officer-involved shooting occurred. Kennon later died from his injuries.
Montgomery was safe after the incident but taken to a hospital as a precaution.
In a statement Monday, Montgomery's family thanked the school's principal and staff, as well as police for trying to reach a peaceful resolution. They asked for privacy and also provided message written by Montgomery about the incident.
“I am grateful for the love, support and care that I have received from my family. I am thankful that no children at Castle View were injured. I feel compassion for Mr. Kennon’s daughter, a student in my class, and for her family during their healing process as they cope with this tragedy. As I move through my own healing process, I am experiencing a range of emotions – anger, however, has never been one of them. I want to thank Law Enforcement and other first responders. I appreciate the efforts and actions taken by all of them, as well as those of my colleagues and staff at Castle View Elementary School to ensure my safety. I pray that we all will find peace with what happened and heal individually, as a school and as a community,” Montgomery's statement read.
It is not known if Montgomery plans to return to the school following the incident.