Following a thorough search of the area between the Hannibal Middle School and the YMCA, police on Wednesday reported that they have not yet found the weapon that Richard King was allegedly carrying near the school Tuesday afternoon. It was the reports that the 22-year-old Hannibal man was armed that prompted a lock down of two schools and the YMCA for a time.
In addition to officers scouring the area that included the Catholic Cemetery and the Park United Methodist Church parking lot, the Police Department’s K-9 unit was summoned to the scene to track King’s path.
In addition to not finding a gun, no other items were found that could be linked to the suspect.
At the scene on Tuesday, Chief Lyndell Davis suggested that when King was apprehended he did have in his possession an “object” that might have been mistaken for a weapon. On Wednesday, HPD’s Lt. John Zerbonia revealed King “was in possession of a small radio/walkie talkie, which may have been what the witness saw.”
“This is still under investigation,” added Zerbonia.
Police were summoned to the middle school shortly after 1 p.m. Tuesday after a report was received that a man wearing a dark coat and jeans was walking toward the Hannibal Middle School with what was believed to be a handgun.
While an officer first made contact with King at the school’s rear parking lot, the incident actually started while he was still west of U.S. 61. Police confirmed Wednesday that after King left the Manpower office on Melgrove Plaza, located near F&M Bank’s north facility, a witness spotted him with what was believed to be a gun.
After crossing the highway, King reportedly approached the middle school. While police were reviewing school surveillance video Tuesday afternoon, HPD on Wednesday was not saying if King ever attempted to gain access to the school or simply walked around the exterior of the school until he was confronted by an HPD officer.
After the officer spotted King and attempted make contract, King reportedly became “verbally confrontational” and fled on foot. That led to a foot pursuit which ended when King was found hiding inside a towel room in the YMCA’s pool area.