Anchorage, Ak, West High School gained little attention to a near tragedy when 39-year-old Kalepo Timoteo a parent of two students of the school got into an altercation with the staff. He went outside infuriated. A parent named Regina Kitiona who was outside the school talking to her child stated: “My first thought was that he was looking for his child,” Kitiona said, describing the parent who police arrested today. “That’s the kind of look I saw on his face, that he’s looking for someone.” He then walked past Kitiona’s car. She saw two police officers walk out of the school, she said. “This guy starts jumping up and down. He literally is right next to my car. I (could) put my hand out and touch him,” Kitiona said.
The two officers followed Timoteo outside to talk with him where he brandished the weapon at them and they proceeded to produce their own weapons and ordered him to surrender.
According to Police spokeswoman Jennifer Castro “During the standoff, the male was at one point pointing the gun in the direction of officers and the female,” Castro said. “The officers were able to verbally de-escalate the situation, get the male to surrender (and) take the man into custody.”
A police officer at the scene told Channel 2 journalist Steve Mac Donald that the man was pacing back and forth outside the school and did not initially listen to police commands.
Officials were eventually able to talk the man into dropping the weapon and he was taken into custody, the officer said.
Timoteo was arrested for one count of fourth-degree misconduct involving a weapon and three counts of third-degree assault.
Anchorage School District Superintendent Ed Graff praised the performance of West High’s two school resource officers, Gary Winborg and Ben Yoon, in a statement Tuesday afternoon.
“Officers Winborg and Yoon did an amazing job this morning,” Graff said. “They knew exactly what to do to ensure the safety of our students and staff. I am so grateful for the work of all of our school resource officers and what they do for us every day. Today’s incident clearly reinforces how important they are to our schools and community.” Nobody was injured in the incident, and Castro said events unfolded so quickly that it was over before the school could be placed on lockdown.
While KTUU and Alaska Dispatch News (ADN) picked up on the story It was a post by Glen Klinkhart that originally caught the attention of the WBL that he posted on his Facebook account which read in full:
“It is news when something bad does not occur?
Recently something bad did indeed not happen. An Anchorage High School did not have a mass shooting. The armed person who yelled and screamed at the school staff did not shoot them for refusing to grant him access to his estranged kids. Our children at West High School (my own son included) did not have to face the real terror of a person on campus shooting people simply because he was angry at the world. Nor did thousands of Anchorage parents have to sit by their phones or watch in horror as they waited to hear if their children were safe or if they were among the dead. None of this happened. It did not happen because we had not one, but two, Anchorage police officers working at the high school. There was no delay in them getting there. There was no confusion about who the threat was, what the threat was about, and what kind of threat it was because those officers were there. It is news those officers showed great restraint by using their verbal skills and command presence to convince an armed suspect to correct his very poor choices. The suspect is lucky to be alive today and he is alive only because those officers were there when they were needed. The office staff is alive to hug, kiss, and love their families today because those officers were there. Every one of our kids at West High School are safe and sound today because of the swift actions of APD Officer Yoon and Winborg.
Many people have argued about the value of having officers in the Anchorage Schools. The next time budgets constraints and discussions about cops in schools comes up, I ask everyone to please consider the costs of not having these officers protecting our children. Officers in our schools serve as a presence for the kids, a symbol of law and of order, and an example of the people behind the badge. School Resource Officers will always make a bad situation better and when necessary can, and will, neutralize any threat made towards our schools and our students. I would rather pay to have officers in our schools then pay the costs of not having them there when we need them most.
So is it news when nothing bad happens? Yes it is. And we have Officer Yoon, Officer Winborg, and the entire School Resource Officer program to thank for making sure it is good news.”