Yesterday was a crazy day at P.S. 108 in Cypress Hills: An man suspected of robbery ran into the school, while waving a loaded gun. About one thousand students (the school is kindergarten through fifth grade) were ultimately evacuated, many in tears.
The Post reports suspect, Edwin Austin, had been running from Fulton Street resident Richard Perez, who saw him "lurking in a second-floor hallway" of his house. Perez, his two relatives, and two plainclothes cops chased Austin until he entered the school. The school was locked down and children were either evacuated or kept in classrooms (hiding under tables) until they could be evacuated.
Police eventually found Austin in a third floor bathroom, and he reportedly put the gun to his head, but cops were able to convince him into surrendering, according to the Daily News. Austin, who was paroled in February on robbery charges, was "wearing a bulletproof vest under a T-shirt with an NYPD insignia on it." When contacted by the News about this incident, Austin's mother said, "It's crazy! Why would he do this? He was on parole and he was turning his life around."
Naturally, parents freaked out, questioning the school's security when Austin managed to get past an unarmed guard. One parent told the NY Times, "I don’t want her to go back there because even in the schoolyard, it’s not safe," while another told WCBS 2, "I always tell them at the PTA meeting they need to increase security in the schools. I bet you now they'll have more security, won't they?"