Police have not released the name of a Willistown man who allegedly fired a gun on Sycamore Circle, causing nearby General Wayne Elementary School to lock down just before dismissal time, around 3:30 p.m., Monday afternoon.
According to a press release from the Willistown Police Department, officers responded to a report of a subject firing a gun from his rear porch, which they found to be enclosed. When attempts at phone contact were unsuccessful, the Regional Emergency Response Team—a S.W.A.T. team comprised of police officers from multiple municipalities—moved in:
West Chester Regional Emergency Response Team responded to the scene. Emergency Response Team members entered the house and confronted the subject in the rear porch area. The subject was taken into custody without incident.
Retired Easttown township manager Gene Williams lives on the small cul-de-sac street where the shooting occurred, but he wasn't home at the time.
"When I came back, I couldn't get into my own neighborhood," Williams said. "[There were] a large number of police cars and police equipment. A couple of the trucks looked like military vehicles, large trucks."
The school lockdown was lifted around 4:45 p.m. It's unclear at this time why the alleged shooter discharged his weapon and how many shots he fired. According to the press release, multiple agencies responded:
Willistown Police were assisted by West Chester Emergency Response Team, East Whiteland Township Police Department, Easttown Township Police Department, Tredyffrin Township Police Department, Chester County Sheriff’s Office, Chester County Detectives, Paoli Fire Company, and Malvern Fire Company Paramedics.
Bill Tickner, whose daughter Isabelle is a first-grader at General Wayne, said he received email alerts and a recorded phone call from Great Valley superintendent Alan Lonoconus.
"These guys handled this with complete professionalism. They sent out an email blast telling us what had happened—'There has been a report of shots fired, the school is on lockdown'—and then another one—'At 4:55, the buses are leaving, everything's fine.' It made my wife and I feel so comforted," Tickner said.
He said his daughter knew there was an unusual event and the school was on lockdown, but not that it was because of gunfire.
"She was very comforted by teachers and administrators. When she got off the bus, later than normal, it was almost like a fun thing," Tickner said. "I have nothing but high admiration for how this was handled."