Motive Behind Riverside School Standoff Still Under Investigation

RIVERSIDE (CBSLA) — The parent of a Riverside elementary school student is dead after holding a teacher hostage for more than six hours, but police are still investigating the motive for the standoff.

Luvelle Kennon, 27, was fatally shot by a SWAT team, more than six hours after taking a first-grade teacher hostage and barricading inside a classroom at Castle View Elementary School in Riverside.

Classes at Castle View have been cancelled for the rest of the week, but investigators remain on the campus.

Staffers like preschool teacher Kimberly Butts were understandably shaken by the ordeal.

“Just so thankful, and grateful, that no child, no one from our staff was injured, and it was handled the way it was,” she said tearfully.

Before the standoff began, witnesses say Kennon became agitated after he refused to sign in at the school administrative office and punched a male staff member. Kennon then barged into a classroom, where he held teacher Linda Montgomery hostage.

For six hours, detectives and negotiators tried to convince Kennon to let Montgomery go and surrender peacefully, until just before 6 p.m., when police used flash-bang grenades to force their way in.

“Negotiators didn’t have any information or couldn’t gather what her status was and so there was growing concern and a decision was made to enter the classroom,” Riverside police Officer Ryan Railsback said.

They won’t say yet if Kennon was armed and why they had to open fire.

Kennon was taken to a hospital, where he died. The male staff member and Montgomery were also hospitalized, but police say both are in good condition.

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