A man is facing charges after firing shots from a home near an elementary school, resulting in the school's lockdown and a standoff that lasted five hours.
The Gladstone Police Department said prosecutors will charge 46-year-old Darin G. Krienke with two counts of first-degree assault of a law enforcement officer, unlawful use of a loaded firearm weapon while intoxicated and two counts of armed criminal action.
Friday's peaceful surrender, shortly after 6 p.m., was a relief to neighbors.
"It's shocking. It definitely is shocking," said Tony Palmer. "It will be a day to remember for a long time. I'm sure of that."
It all started about 1 p.m. when police received a call from a maintenance worker at the French Riviera Apartments who said he heard the sound of gunfire in the neighborhood. When police arrived, they heard more gunshots.
As a safety precaution, the North Kansas City School District said the nearby elementary school was placed on lockdown and students and staff were told to gather in the gym on the end of the school farthest from the gunshots.
Officers were sent to the school and others began to investigate the source of the gunfire. As more and more gunshots were heard, Gladstone police called for assistance from Platte County and Clay County sheriff's departments as well as the Missouri Highway Patrol and Kansas City, MO, Police Department.
Ken Buck from the Gladstone Police Department said officers honed in the source of the noise to a home across from the southwest corner of the school, at 73rd and North Wyandotte. SWAT members seen in full gear surrounded the home and an armored vehicle was positioned in the street in front of it. They worked to establish communication with the man inside, who they believed was alone.
"I was pretty frightened," said Ashley Palmer, Tony's wife.
The Palmers live across the street from the house where the shooting was happening and have a third-grader at the school.
"Mom was freaking out quite a bit, naturally," said Tony Palmer, who rushed home when his wife called about hearing four to five shots.
Buck said they believe the man fired shots from the home, but they were never directed at the school and the school itself was never in any immediate danger.
Once deemed secure, the school district said the students were safely evacuated from the school and transported to Antioch Middle School, located at 2100 NE 65th St., Kansas City, MO, and parents were able to pick up their children there beginning at 5 p.m.
"The school district actually had a plan in place. There had to be a face-to-face reunite with the children, they weren't just released randomly. They had a system in place at Antioch Middle School, that's why it was moved there because they had computers so they could have an accountability-type situation for reuniting the children with their parents," Buck said. "The evacuation went very well. It took about 30 minutes altogether. We had the buses staged at our Gladstone Community Center, they were escorted up by police officers to the school, the evacuation occurred on the north end of the school which was out of harm's way and they were transported to the other school."
The line of cars carrying parents snaked for blocks around the middle school as each one arrived to pick up their children.
The district designated middle school rooms for each elementary grade, and then directed parents to sign them out from the appropriate classroom. Several parents said they were confident the school district was keeping the kids safe and were calmed by the information the district sent via email, text and telephone.
"We've seen all the commotion all afternoon," said Tiffany Adams, who came home to crime tape and road blocks. "I know they are safe. That's all I care about."
"It just seemed like everything was working well. I have no issues. I think everybody was safe," said Todd Mukai.
As far as the home police surrounded, officers established a large perimeter and blocked off several streets in the area. They also evacuated nearby homes.
"Our first priority is safety, safety of the residents and safety of everybody involved," Buck said.
He said, at least up until 6 p.m., they had no communication with the suspect inside. That quickly changed shortly after 6 p.m. when officials said he surrendered to Gladstone police.
Police said the suspect's parents helped in their negotiations to end the standoff.
Tony Palmer said the man who was arrested appeared to be in his mid-40s and lived in the basement of his parents' home. He said the adult son kept to himself, but his retired parents were sociable neighbors.
Court documents show that Krienke's bond has been set at $250,000.
KCTV5's DeAnn Smith contributed to this report.
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