‘How did a robbery suspect enter a school campus?’ HISD chief addresses security concerns after lockdown at Wisdom High School

HOUSTON – It was by all accounts a scene of sheer panic at Wisdom High School Thursday afternoon as more than 100 students in the auditorium ran for cover, fearing for their lives.

The incident all unfolded as the Houston Police Department’s SWAT team entered the auditorium to arrest an 18-year-old robbery suspect that police feared was carrying a gun.

Police said Mahamoudou Sylla, a student at Wisdom High School, was spotted running from police after allegedly committing a robbery about a mile from the high school.

Authorities said Sylla robbed a man and told him to “give me all you’ve got,” while pretending to have a gun in his hand.

Investigators said after the robbery, Sylla hitchhiked a ride from a good Samaritan to Wisdom High School.

After the school was placed on lockdown and authorities were able to arrest Sylla, KPRC 2 asked the Houston ISD police chief how Sylla got into Wisdom High School so easily.

Did he break in? Did he come through an unlocked door? Did he climb through an open window and come in through a back door that was unlocked? Those were several of the questions posed by KPRC 2 during a news briefing on Friday.

“He did not enter the campus through a side door or anything like that. He followed the visitor management procedure, and video captured the student walking up to the front entrance of the school and campus administrators buzzed him in and he went to the office and signed in where school officials let him in,” said HISD police chief Peter Lopez.

From there, investigators said Sylla entered the auditorium and attempted to blend in with the other students who were inside.

Another question KPRC 2 posed was if the police thought Sylla was armed with a gun at the time of the robbery and went inside the school, what measures are put in place to stop students from bringing guns on campus?

“Wisdom doesn’t have metal detectors, that’s something we will address in the upcoming budget meetings, but no students are not searched on any HISD property,” Lopez answered.

In the end, police found that Sylla was not carrying a gun. He has since been charged with robbery and is currently in jail.

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