On Thursday morning, many parents of Pickerington Ridgeview Junior High School students gathered at a gas station near Hill Road, seeking additional information about the situation. One parent, Donavin Edwards, who has a child attending the school, expressed his high level of anxiety to 10TV. The cause of the gathering was due to the tragic event of the stepfather of a student taking his own life inside the school.
Edwards said, “My daughter texted me to let me know she was safe and in a room.” As he waited, he could only hope and pray for the best. According to Pickerington Police Chief Tod Cheney, the school administration notified them of a potential criminal act committed by the stepfather, but emphasized that it did not take place on school grounds.
The incident began around 10 a.m. on Thursday in an administrative office at Pickerington Ridgeview Junior High School on Hill Road South near State Route 256. Police Chief Tod Cheney reported that a detective was called to the school in response to a report of a potential criminal act by a relative of a junior high student. During a brief conversation with the adult male, believed to be the stepfather of the student, the man pulled out a handgun and took his own life in the office area. Parents were advised not to go to the junior high school during the lockdown, as students were being relocated to Pickerington Central High School by bus. At 11:30 a.m., buses were arranged to take students home, while those waiting for pickup by their parents were kept in the high school’s field house. Parents were required to bring ID to sign out their student and were instructed to enter from Lockville Road and Opportunity Way and to exit on Opportunity Way and Hill Road South.