DETAILS have emerged of an alleged gunman who ran from police across an oval at Ashdale Secondary College in Darch not long before the school lunch hour began last Friday.
An Education Department spokesman said phys-ed students were on the oval at the time, but the man did not approach them.
Officers have charged an 18-year-old Darch man with being armed in a way that may cause fear, carrying a controlled weapon in a manner likely to cause fear, carrying a firearm with no permit and possession of drugs with intent to sell or supply.
Police media spokeswoman Sarah Dyer said the accused was allegedly walking on nearby Kingsway carrying a gun about 12.50pm.
Ashdale’s lunch hour begins at 1.35pm.
“When he noticed police, he tried to hide the firearm in a jumper and ran towards a nearby school oval on Westport Parade,” she said.
“He jumped a fence and dropped the firearm but continued running before being apprehended a short time later on MacDonagh Avenue.”
Acting school principal Deborah Doyle sent a letter home with students that afternoon advising parents of the incident.
“An armed intruder briefly entered the school oval prior to lunchtime today as a result of a police pursuit,” she wrote.
“School staff responded appropriately in the presence of the police to ensure the situation was managed.
“No students were harmed in the incident.”
Local Facebook users took to the social media platform in the hours after the event to discuss their safety concerns.
One poster talked of her childrens’ response.
“I was just talking to my kids, they said they were locked inside and siren was going for the lock down,” she wrote.
However, another Facebook user posted a message saying the school had sent a text message advising it was not in lock down and there was no threat to staff or students.
An Education Department spokesman confirmed the school was not in lock down.
“Due to the speed with which the incident unfolded and how quickly police apprehended the man, it was not practical or necessary for the school to activate any ‘lockdown’ procedures,” he said.
“Some students were doing physical education lessons on the oval at the time but at no time did the man approach or pose any threat to students – it seems he was simply running across the school oval in an attempt to escape from police.”
The alleged offender is due to appear in Joondalup Magistrates Court on May 27.