A domestic violence dispute close to the perimeter of the school caused a lockdown during blue lunch on Thursday, February 28th. This code red was put in place for almost an hour because the suspect from the dispute ran towards campus.
“The suspect was at the bus loop for about ten seconds before he left immediately,” said Officer John Brock.
Although many students were in their fourth hour class, the students who were eating lunch had to immediately move to a classroom nearby or to the theatre. Students were seen sprinting out of the cafeteria and through the courtyard to enter a safe place quickly.
A car safety presentation was supposed to take place during fifth hour, leaving the courtyard and cafeteria without some of the administration that is typically present. Once the deans left their post to help students move to a safe area, the courtyard cleared quickly.
“We originally thought it was a shooting and started hurdling out of the cafeteria,” said sophomore Paige Martin. “First, everyone was confused as to what was happening but then the deans sprung into action. Once I got into the theatre, it was not nearly as bad because everyone seemed more calm after a while.”
Students in blue lunch felt the pressure when the code red was announced. Many students left their lunch and bags behind, running into open classrooms and pushing through large crowds of students. Some classrooms used desks and chairs to block the front doors as they silently waited for the hour to pass.
“When the code red was called, a lot of people in the back started jumping over the counter where the cash registers were,” said senior Thomas Rios.
The 19-year-old suspect had a restraining order against a 16-year-old who lived in an apartment complex near campus. The homeowner called 911 when he discovered the suspect in his home, resulting in an attempted getaway. Boca Middle was also placed on a code yellow because of the close proximity between the two schools.
“I saw two cops and cop cars outside of my apartment complex, which is right behind the school, and then I heard there was a lockdown. It is definitely alarming to see cops at the place I live,” said Florida Atlantic University student Allison Davis.
Boca Raton Police Department was quickly on the scene and posted about the situation on Twitter to calm parents and students who might be afraid.
“The school typically has two officers on campus but there were about twenty on campus and more on the outside during the code red,” said Officer Brock.
According to WPBF, the suspect was detained and is facing charges of violation of court order. Although rumors around campus have suggested that the suspect was armed, the police stated that he did not have any weapons.