School safety is a hot topic nationwide, and a local incident has parents asking what more can be done to protect their children.
Parents at Gloria Hicks Elementary said they have seen an armed man carrying both a semi-automatic rifle and a handgun near the school on multiple occasions.
While he technically is within his legal right, community members have questions about his motive.
Tuesday afternoon, a man was recorded carrying an AR-15 and a visible handgun just across the street from Hicks just as school was dismissing for the day.
Parents called police and the school was placed on a brief lockdown.
Corpus Christi Police Department officers determined that the man was licensed to carry the handgun. And in the state of Texas, was allowed to openly carry the rifle.
Because he never came onto school property, no criminal charges were filed and students were released.
While his behavior was legal, parents and even law enforcement officers still found it alarming.
“It’s legal and I understand that, but at a school? After all the school shootings and everything? You would think, ‘Okay, don’t be that dumb,’” parent Sara Rangel said.
Corpus Christi Independent School District Police Chief Kirby Warnke said the man’s behavior is unnecessary.
“I’m not exactly sure what’s going through someone’s head that would do that, knowing the disconcerting nature of what their actions are going to cause,” Warnke said. “I can’t speak for him, but I know that I would never do something like that.”
Rangel said she saw the man carrying both weapons near the school Tuesday, and chose to keep her son home from school Wednesday.
“This morning when I woke him up he was freaking out with a panic attack. He didn’t want to go to school,” Rangel said. “He said ‘I don’t want to die.’ I told him, ‘You’re not gonna die.’ We explained everything to him. He understands, but says it was still scary seeing that.”
CCISD Police has additional patrol officers at Gloria Hicks Elementary School Wednesday afternoon.