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Moniteau officials praise staff, school police and state troopers

March 17, 2019 News Extra

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CLAY TWP — School officials say a potentially dangerous incident Friday at Moniteau Junior/Senior High School was handled efficiently and professionally by the staff and school police.

Superintendent Sean Arney said the district's action plan for possible safety breaches was carried out perfectly on Friday after a teacher first reported approaching a suspicious van in the school parking lot. The van's driver was later arrested in a neighboring cemetery with multiple weapons in his vehicle.

State police charged 36-year-old William Russell, address unknown, with multiple charges, including possessing weapons on school property, driving under the influence of alcohol, disorderly conduct, and careless driving. He remains housed in the Butler County Prison on $100,000 cash bond. Authorities reportedly found two loaded shotguns, a pistol and three knives inside Russell's van.

“This is our first year with school police officers, and you don't know how someone is going to truly perform until it happens,” he said. “Had we not had our school police officers, we wouldn't have seen (the van at the cemetery).”

Arney put the school on external lockdown during the incident, which ended after lunchtime when state police arrested Russell.

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