A man allegedly armed with a handgun was arrested Tuesday afternoon following a chase that started near the Hannibal Middle School and ended inside the YMCA.
According to Hannibal police, they were notified at 1:08 p.m. that a man wearing a dark coat and jeans was walking toward the Hannibal Middle School with what was believed to be a handgun.
“The officers responded immediately,” said Hannibal Police Chief Lyndell Davis, estimating that the first officer arrived at the scene within two minutes. “One of the officers saw an individual matching the description of what we were given initially. He (suspect) took off on foot and the officer engaged in a foot pursuit.”
The officer pursued the subject from the rear parking lot of the middle school, through the Catholic Cemetery and onto the Park United Methodist Church parking lot where the officer lost sight of the subject.
A short time later officers received information that an unknown subject had been seen entering a rear door of the YMCA. Numerous officers who had responded to the area quickly surrounded the YMCA property and found the subject hiding in a small room inside the YMCA near the pool.
“No one was injured to our knowledge and we do have an individual in custody,” said Davis shortly after the arrest was made. “Now we’re trying to piece it together.”
Police have identified the subject as Richard King, 22, of Hannibal. King was found to have an outstanding warrant for a parole violation and was placed on a 24-hour hold for other charges related to Tuesday’s incident.
According to Davis, King was not in possession of a gun when officers made the arrest.
“We have not located any sort of firearm or other weapon. However, we did secure an object he did have in his possession that might have been mistaken for a weapon. We’re not disregarding the fact he might have had a gun. That’s why we’re doing such an extensive search of all the areas that we know he ran from us through,” said the police chief, who called in the department’s K-9 unit to track the path King took to the YMCA. “We do have a couple of witnesses that believe they did see a handgun, and that’s what we’re trying to verify right now.”
Schools locked down
Both the high school and middle school went into lock down mode after being advised that a man with a gun was reported near the middle school.
Jill Janes, superintendent of the Hannibal public school district, reported that the schools remained locked down for approximately an hour.
Page 2 of 2 - Davis said keeping the schools locked for an extended period of time was done as a precaution.
“Even though we have the suspect in custody, because we’re trying to verify he didn’t discard anything that we would want to secure, I did have the schools on an extended lock down,” he said. “There’s really no potential threat. I’m more concerned with what might have been discarded.”
Janes says that at no time was King inside the middle school as was rumored outside the YMCA.
Police were reviewing school surveillance video Tuesday afternoon.
“When these situations go down you get a lot of information coming in and right now we’re trying to sort out what is accurate and what is not,” said Davis.