A Riverside, California father took a 70-year-old Elementary School teacher hostage on Tuesday, barricading himself into a classroom at the Castle View Elementary School. After keeping the teacher hostage for seven hours, the man was shot by a SWAT team and died later in hospital. The teacher received minor injuries in the incident, including scrapes and abrasions. The school will be closed for the remainder of the week.

Father arrives at elementary school, but fails to sign in

According to Justin Grayson, a spokesperson for the Riverside Unified School District, 27-year-old Luvelle Kennon arrived at the elementary school at around 11:15 a.m.

on Tuesday, but failed to sign in at the front desk. A substitute teacher stopped him from going further into the school, leading to Kennon punching the teacher in the face and knocking him down. The substitute teacher reportedly suffered a broken nose in the incident.

According to Riverside Police, Kennon then took 70-year-old first-grade teacher Linda Montgomery hostage in an empty classroom, barricading the door. While the standoff was ongoing, police evacuated the students to a nearby park and started to release them to their parents at around 1 p.m. Grayson said all students were accounted for at that time.

Motive for hostage situation is unknown

As reported by the New York Daily News, the reason for the hostage situation is currently unknown and it is also unknown whether Kennon was armed when he entered the school.

However witnesses say he did have a backpack, but that they saw no weapons on him.

Crisis negotiators managed to contact Kennon in the classroom during the seven-hour standoff, but were unable to speak to Montgomery, leading to authorities eventually storming the classroom at around 6 p.m., as they were concerned for her well-being.

Kennon was shot by a SWAT team at that time and was transferred to a local hospital, where he later died.

Father had suffered a breakdown

ABC News quotes Kennon’s uncle, Carl Jackson, as saying he was the father of a female first-grade student at the elementary school.

Jackson said another family member had confiscated Kennon’s car keys on Tuesday morning, adding that his nephew had recently suffered a breakdown and had relapsed again. Before the hostage standoff ended, Jackson said it was just a relapse and that Kennon was not dangerous.

The school has been closed for the balance of the week and parents were told that counselors are available on Wednesday for any students who need assistance.