Students unable to return home following Friday’s local shooting


Jane Shiff

Local shooting causes families in the nearby area to shelter in place.

Allison Davids, Headlines Reporter

Approximately 30 Metea Valley students were unable to return home after school this past Friday. Naperville Police officers responded to the fatal shooting of a man at 8:30 a.m in an apartment located at 960 Fairway Drive. Officers came to the crime scene and took the victim to the hospital. At the hospital, the victim was pronounced deceased. 

Officers received a lead of the suspect early on, which led to a standoff with the alleged shooter. The alleged shooter was barricading himself in his apartment within the same complex. During the day, residents in the nearby area sheltered in place until further notice. 

The Naperville Police Department notified Principal Darrell Echols and Assistant Principal Daniel DeBruycker around 11:00 a.m. The police told them that there was a local shooting and the block would be unavailable since the scene was still under investigation.

“We had discussed it was not necessary for any type of hold in place,” DeBruycker said. 

Around 1:00 p.m, the police contacted again, saying that the issue remained unresolved along with the block off limits to the public. The issue was going to cause the students unable to go home. 

“We wanted to communicate the best way with them,” DeBruycker said. “We used the intercom and had the bus drivers not let them leave the school because the buses could not get in that area.”

District 204 sent DeBruycker a list of students who lived within the area. DeBruycker announced there was a transportation issue for certain students at 2:17 p.m. He listed the names of students who all lived within the radius of the shooting. 

“The whole block was on lockdown, buses rerouted so they did not have to go down that area,” junior Abigail Cummins said.

About 30 students stayed inside the school as they waited to return home. Echols gave students food and water as they waited in the LMC. Once the issue was over, the students drove back, got picked up by parents, or went on the after-school activity bus.

“It was stressful,” Cummins said. “Half the kids were not paying attention. Some of them were making a lot of jokes because they did not know what was going on, which made it worse.”

The alleged shooter was not in custody yet, and the site was still under investigation. DeBruycker encouraged the students to communicate with their parents. The school kept the students at the school until it was safe for them to return home. 

“All the students handled themselves well,” DeBruycker said. “They got home safe and sound. I appreciate their cooperation. [The] timing was not ideal in any way, shape, or form but we tried to make the students feel comfortable.”

Abigail Cummins left the school around 6:00 p.m. The student’s aunt took the student to their house for the night. The student’s mother did not want her home due to safety concerns.

“I was terrified. They were not giving us a lot of information. I worried about my mom, my brother, and my friends,” Cummins said. 

Officers took the suspect into custody on Friday around 3:52 p.m. The investigation indicates that the victim and suspect knew each other and the shooting was not a random incident. The alleged shooter has been charged with two counts of First Degree Murder along with a  bond of one million dollars.