'Mental health issues:' 1 in custody after active shooter situation in Germantown

GERMANTOWN -- One person was taken into custody following an active shooter situation in Germantown Wednesday morning, May 15. It happened at a residence near Kennedy Middle School -- which was being used as a staging area.

The Germantown Police Department received reports of shots fired in the area of Williams Drive, east of Pilgrim Road around 5 a.m. Upon officers' arrival, a dialog was started with a 69-year-old Germantown resident.

While speaking with the man, he fired another shot, according to police.

Peter Hoell

"He was outside his front door. We were negotiating with him," said Chief Peter Hoell, Germantown Police Department.

The Washington County SWAT Team, which includes Germantown officers, was called to respond. SWAT officers, using the cover of a BearCat, negotiated with the man in an effort to get him to surrender. At approximately 6:30 a.m., he surrendered.

Police said he would be transported to the Washington County Jail on felony charges, and Washington County Acute Care Services would be involved in dealing with his mental health status.

"There’s mental health issues, so it was a bit of a challenge to get him out," said Chief Hoell.

"As soon as I saw him lift his rifle, I just immediately started to cry because it hits close to home," said a neighbor. "I think the mental health thing is something we should concentrate a little bit more on because it's just such a powerful disease that nobody really pays too much attention to."

No one was injured as a result of this incident.

Both Kennedy Middle School and MacArthur Elementary School were briefly put on a two-hour delay due to the incident. Once the suspect was taken into custody -- administrators decided to start on time.

The Germantown School District released the following statement to parents Wednesday morning:

"Dear Parents,

Germantown PD had informed the District that an active shooter was in the vicinity of Kennedy Middle School and MacArthur Elementary School; we responded by going into lockdown status. Chief Hoell has informed the District that a suspect has been apprehended and in custody. Kennedy Middle School and MacArthur Elementary are able to return to normal status. Students and staff are safe to attend school today. Should buses in the area impacted by police presence be delayed, Riteway will inform the respective schools; however, buses will be running as normal.

Again, students and staff are safe to attend school, as the shooter is in police custody.

Thank you for your patience and understanding in these matters."