Katy Schools Experienced Lockout During Fugitive Pursuit


KATY MAGAZINE NEWS

August 29, 2019

By Natalie Cook Clark

Katy ISD's Taylor High School and Nottingham Country Elementary were put in lockout mode yesterday as authorities pursued and apprehended multiple suspects. The search included the areas surrounding the school.

"Lockout" Protocol for Taylor HS and Nottingham Country Elementary

Only three weeks into the school year, Katy schools had a brush of concern over an ongoing fugitive pursuit led by the Gulf Coast Violent Offenders Task Force with the cooperation of Constable Ted Heap's office.

Yesterday, August 28, Taylor High School and Nottingham Country Elementary, both on Kingsland Boulevard took precautions and went into "lockout" protocol for about 70 minutes. The lockout was lifted after all suspects were successfully caught and parents were notified that all was clear and safe.

All Suspects Arrested

The pursuit began near Westheimer and Highway 6 at approximately 1:00 pm Wednesday afternoon, August 28. Two suspects were wanted for felony charges, and another on a felony warrant.

Deputies successfully deployed spike strips, stainless steel spikes that disabled the suspect's vehicle. The two suspects wanted on felony charges were arrested at the shopping center behind RE/MAX in the 900 block of South Fry Road.

The third suspect, wanted on a felony warrant, fled on foot. He was later arrested at an apartment complex in the 1100 block of Houghton.

Constable Heap Praises Work and Cooperation

"Thank you to our Precinct 5 neighbors for their cooperation," says Constable Ted Heap. "Working with the Harris County Sheriff's Office, the Gulf Coast Violent Offenders Task Force and the Department of Public Safety, we were able to quickly capture these wanted felons. I'm happy to say no one was hurt and the situation was quickly brought under control."

Katy Schools Communicate with Parents

Taylor High School and Nottingham Country Elementary notified parents of the situation after the lockdown was cleared. The schools notified parents of the situation and that all was clear.

From Taylor High School

"At approximately 1:13 p.m., THS was placed on lockout mode while local law enforcement apprehended a suspect who was located in a nearby neighborhood," said an email sent to parents by Principal Chris Morgan. "By 1:26 p.m., the lockout mode was lifted."

From Nottingham Country Elementary

"This message is to inform you that the lockout- secure the building mode at NCE has been lifted," stated Nottingham Country Elementary. "We did this as it is our standard operating procedure to secure the campus whenever we are informed of these types of threats."

Nottingham Country claimed that all staff and students were secure in their classrooms and that instructional time was not interrupted.

Katy ISD Acted Quickly

The district and schools involved acted quickly to secure the students, teachers, and staff and keep everyone safe. While no suspect ever entered school grounds the situation was close and could have quickly gotten the schools involved. Their response was a good test to a situation that no one wants to experience in a greater capacity.

Lockout vs. Lockdown

A lockout, which is what this situation was, is when all students and staff are brought in from outside the building and all outside doors are locked. In this situation, the instructional period continues without interruption. Also, during a lockout no one is allowed to enter the school.

In the case of a lockdown, a greater level of precaution is taken. Staff and students stay inside their classrooms, out of view, with the lights out. No one goes in the hallway, instructional time is put on hold, and everyone stays quiet.

Students' Reactions

While yesterday's incident was a lockout it's important to note that especially with older students, the current culture is quick to cause panic and anxiety. Even though a lockdown was never called, many THS students did take cover and were scared about the possibilities of all the "what ifs."

Parents of students at THS took to Facebook to share concerns and text messages from their students. Several THS students texted that they were hiding under desks and around corners that obscured their visibility from windows.

Katy ISD's Emergency Response Guide

Learn more about how Katy ISD handles emergency campus situations in their Emergency Response Guide.

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