Published May 13, 2021
By SOPHIA BONE
After a young male in a truck crashed through a gate and onto the Carmel Middle School campus while being pursued by law enforcement, CMS went on lockdown May 4 amid various sporting events and 250 students on campus.
“Our students acted in a tremendously commendable manner,” wrote CMS Principal Dan Morgan in an email to all CMS parents, “following the instructions of our staff and maintaining composure amidst a stressful and dangerous situation.”
No one was harmed during the event, but the intruder, who was later arrested at gunpoint, almost drove into a campus security attendant who managed to jump out of the way.
“As soon as the vehicle in pursuit turned into CMS, I knew there was no way out for him, and we were going to have to evacuate the entire field,” explains Matthew Isher, who was coaching shot put 75 feet away from where the intruder broke through the gate.
At the time of the lockdown, the Carmel High School girls’ softball team was on the CMS field warming up for a game against Soledad. Some CMS teams practicing at the time included track and field, basketball, soccer and tennis.
“At first we thought there was an active shooter on campus, so thankfully that was not the case,” recalls CHS sophomore Gianna Mangiapane.
The school immediately went into lockdown for almost 15 minutes after student-athletes had moved away from the scene. Law enforcement only required a few minutes to apprehend the intruder, but CMS wanted to make sure everything was safe and for officials to give the all clear before students were picked up on the opposite side of campus near the cafeteria.
In response to the incident, CMS provided on-site support the day after the incident for students to speak with a specialized counselor. CMS administrators are planning to meet with school district leadership to assess the effectiveness of their intruder protocols.