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Police release body cam video from lockdown at elementary school in El Mirage

Last Friday, police responded to the school following reports of an armed man trying to enter the school.

EL MIRAGE, Ariz — The El Mirage Police Department released police body camera video Tuesday night from an emergency lockdown at Thompson Ranch Elementary last week.

The incident started around 10:30 a.m. when a school employee called 911 and said they had a person with a gun at the back of the cafeteria trying to enter the school.

RELATED: 'It was really, really horrible': Parent describes scene at El Mirage school during lockdown

The caller told police the school was in full lockdown and again explained the man was trying to enter the school.

The video released by police shows footage of officers arriving at the school after lockdown protocols were implemented.

In the video, you see armed officers running toward the school, calling out, “police, police!”

When officers arrived, they were directed to the area of the campus where the suspect was last seen, and the officers ran in that direction.

As other officers arrived, they surrounded the campus and set up a perimeter to look for the suspect. Due to conflicting reports about the suspect’s last location, El Mirage officers and MCSO deputies began to sweep the hallways of the school. The suspect was not located but would be arrested several hours later.

Police said during the effort to secure the school, parents and family began to arrive. In the video, you can see one of the family members, Vincent Raul Castaneda, 22, approach the front office, contact the principal and officers, and say, “I am here for my sister, bro. I am responsible for my little sister; this is bulls--- bro.”

The video shows the assistant principal tell Castaneda the suspect did not enter the school. At this point, Castaneda shook hands with the principal and other school employees and then walked back to his truck in the parking lot.

A short time later, Jonathan Vincent Davis, 22, was seen by officers trying to scale the school fence near the front office, which had been secured during the lockdown. In the video, you see officers approach him, and Davis becomes argumentative and somewhat aggressive toward the officers, saying there was “an active shooter” at the school.

In the video, an El Mirage officer tells Davis he is not being helpful and that he is starting to make people panic. In the video, you see Castaneda step in front of Davis, acting as a shield.

Moments later, police said Davis met up with Castaneda and Castaneda’s mother, 48-year-old Darlene Gonzales.

Davis, Castaneda, and Gonzales start arguing with officers and based on Castaneda’s efforts to disrupt officers. El Mirage police said they were directed to arrest him.

In the video, you can see Castaneda, Gonzales, and Davis scuffle with officers before Castaneda loses his gun. Seeing the gun, police yelled, “gun!” and Castaneda was tased and arrested.

In the video, Gonzales could be heard pleading with Davis to stop.

El Mirage police said Davis had been pushed back several feet from the incident. As officers attempted to arrest Castaneda, Davis yelled, “Hey!” and threw his hands in the air, and ran toward an officer. In the video, you see Davis being tased as he approached the officer.

Police said Castaneda was arrested and booked on several charges, including a weapons violation and obstruction. Police said Davis is facing disorderly conduct charges. Gonzales is not facing any charges at this time.

The 33-year-old suspect, reported to be homeless, was taken into custody in the area of 113th Avenue and Tennessee Avenue in Youngtown.  At the time of his arrest, he did not have a firearm, according to police. 

Police said charges of threatening and disorderly conduct are pending because the suspect was showing signs of possibly having an intellectual disability. He was transported to a local facility for evaluation.

12News reached out to the mayor's office as well as the council members for their thoughts on the lockdown. As of Wednesday evening, we haven't heard back from anyone except Councilman David Shapera, who wrote, "no comment."

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