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Man with shotgun arrested at Herbert Hoover; deputies injured

CLENDENIN, W.Va. -- Herbert Hoover High School was put on precautionary lockdown early Wednesday morning after an armed man was seen outside the school.

Kanawha County sheriff's deputies were called to the school at about 5:30 a.m. after staff, which had reported early for work, saw a man brandishing a shotgun outside the school, according to a news release from Capt. B.C. Robbins of the sheriff's department.

Richard Strickland, a custodian, reported that he had confronted the suspect -- later identified as Russell Edward Elswick, 52, of Clendenin -- who had advised him he "had business to take care of," according to a criminal complaint filed in Kanawha County Magistrate Court.

School employees secured the school and notified the school system of the incident so no students would be transported to the school until the area was secure, according to the sheriff's department.

Deputies located Elswick's vehicle near the field house on school grounds. Sgt. K.L. White reported that Elswick was seated in the vehicle and was "noncompliant" with orders to exit the vehicle, according to the release.

When officers attempted to physically remove Elswick from the passenger seat, the vehicle -- which was still in gear -- lurched forward and struck Deputy R.D. Evans, according to the sheriff's department.

Elswick continued to be noncompliant, the department said, and deputies had to physically restrain him to take him into custody. Officers found an unloaded Remington Model 870 shotgun and several rounds of ammunition in the vehicle, according to the complaint.

Elswick is facing felony charges of making terroristic threats and possessing a firearm on school property.

He was arraigned in Kanawha County Magistrate Court and ordered held in the South Central Regional Jail in lieu of a $30,000 cash-only bail.

White said Elswick appeared to be "possibly under the influence of an unknown substance."

Deputies don't know why Elswick would have been on school property and don't have a motive for his actions.

Evans and Cpl. A.J. Miller received medical treatment after the incident. Miller sustained a fracture to his hand during the altercation with the suspect.

Robbins said there was no danger to students. School continued as normal.

Staff Writer Travis Crum contributed to this report. 

Reach Kathryn Gregory at kathryng@wvgazette.com or 304-348-5119.


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