CHAMBERS COUNTY, Texas – An armed, suicidal man who prompted a SWAT standoff and a school lockdown in Mont Belvieu has been taken into custody and is being transported to the hospital for a mental evaluation, authorities confirm.
Barbers Hill Independent School District campuses and nearby churches off of Eagle Drive were placed on lockdown Wednesday after reports of the armed man in the area.
Police said the man was in a subdivision on Lake of Champions Drive, near churches and schools, and was standing in the open with a gun to his head, threatening suicide. The man fired at least two shots at the ground, then surrendered, police said.
School officials immediately placed the nearby campuses on lockdown, which was not lifted until the scene was cleared.
Access to Middle School South, the Kindergarten Center and the Primary School, as well as nearby churches, was limited as police worked to defuse the situation.
According to the Barbers Hill Superintendent’s Twitter feed Wednesday, police agencies were "responding and the situation is contained but still ongoing.” It said “all students are safe but we are taking every precaution.”
All police agencies are responding and the situation is contained but still ongoing. All students are safe but we r taking every precaution— BarbersHillSUPT (@BarbersHillSoup) April 27, 2016
An armed & suicidal man is in a field 500 yards off eagle drive across from our campuses. We have locked down appropriate campus's— BarbersHillSUPT (@BarbersHillSoup) April 27, 2016
The superintendent sent the following emergency message:
"We have a dangerous situation progressing involving an armed and suicidal man in a field 400-500 yards across Eagle Drive from our campuses. We have locked down appropriate buildings and all police agencies are on the scene and managing the situation. No one should be driving that direction of Eagle Drive. All of our children and staff are safe and we are taking these actions to be overly cautious. Traffic is limited on Eagle Drive. We will notify you of all changes as they occur. I have complete confidence in Chief (Kenny) Widner and Chief (Virgil) Blasdel in containing this situation. The affected campuses in lockdown are Middle School South and Kindergarten/Primary."