NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) — A New Haven school custodian is being hailed as a hero after staff say he stopped a man with a gun who was on school premises Wednesday morning.
According to New Haven Public Schools, the incident happened at about 10 a.m. while students were in class at Lincoln-Bassett Community School. The custodian was heading into work when he noticed the man.
“He saw something was off, and he immediately reacted and contacted the police, and it was diffused very, very quickly,” Assistant Superintendent Viviana Camacho said.
She said the man had appeared to be in mental distress and had a gun on him. The district is praising the custodian for the quick-thinking used to de-escalate the situation.
“He’s kind of like our local hero now,” Camacho said.
She said police had arrested the man within half an hour. Classes were not disrupted and families have since been notified.
“He works at the school, but does possess the skillset in security outside of the school, and so he used his skillsets to de-escalate and avoid probably a much bigger incident,” Camacho said.
Andrew Angel DeJesus, who has a child who attends the school, said he was relieved that the custodian stopped the man, but was still upset it happened.
“Stopping someone with a gun, regardless of what it is, you’re some sort of hero,” he said.
Camacho said that the school’s community previously knew the man.
Police have since identified the man as 34-year-old Earon Williamson, of New Haven, and said that the gun was stolen. He remained in police custody, as of Thursday evening, on a $200,000 bond.
Williamson has been charged with possession of a stolen firearm, criminal possession of a firearm, possession of a weapon on school grounds, reckless endangerment, carrying a pistol without a permit, public indecently, breach of peace and operating a motor vehicle with a suspended license.