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Frenchtown Locked Down for 90 Minutes Thursday After Nearby Shooting [Updated]

Children on the bus witnessed the incident and the suspects were caught, School Supt. Ralph Iassogna said. The FBI arrested the suspects, Bridgeport police said.

Update, Friday, May 25

More details have emerged about the incident leading to the Frenchtown Elementary School lockdown Thursday.

On Friday, the U.S. Justice Department said:

"During the course of yesterday’s law enforcement operation, Task Force officers attempted to speak to JEFFREY THOMAS, 21, who was driving a car that had stopped on the side of the road in the vicinity of Old Town Road and Oman Street in Trumbull. As Task Force officers approached, it is alleged that THOMAS put the car in reverse, ramming the Task Force officers’ car behind him.  THOMAS then drove at two FBI agents, who were able to avoid being struck; one of the agents fired his gun in an effort to protect himself and the other agents.  With officers in pursuit, THOMAS drove away but crashed his vehicle.  He fled into a residence on Voight Street, where he was subsequently apprehended," according to a press release.

Update, 4:30 p.m.

FBI Special Agent Daniel Curtin said the FBI was executing federal arrest warrants for narcotics as part of an ongoing investigation.

According to the Connecticut Post, there was a shootout preceding the lockdown. Three suspects appeared in U.S. District Court today and were identified as HassAn Rogers, Rashim Carter and Jamiel Thompson, and were arraigned on federal weapons and drug charges, according to the Post. 

The three are charged with possession with intent to distribute heroin and Carter with witness tampering. Rogers is charged with unlawful sale of a gun, the Post stated. All are being held without bond.

Update, 3:20 p.m.

Trumbull Police said they responded to several 911 calls of shots fired in the 900 area of Old Town Road at 8:10 a.m. and that a driver had crashed and fled the scene.

"A secure perimeter was established by both Bridgeport and Trumbull police.  State police responded with their k-9 unit," said Trumbull Deputy Police Chief Michael Harry.

"The incident was generated by the federal task force led by the FBI and it is their investigation.  Trumbull’s involvement, other than assisting in the search for the suspect, is the accident investigation which is still ongoing," Harry said.

Original Story

Frenchtown Elementary School was in full lockdown for nearly 90 minutes this morning after reports of a shooting near the Eaves by Avalon on Old Town Road.

"Please be advised that Frenchtown Elementary School was in full Lockdown mode from approximately 8:15 to 9:35 a.m. this morning," Schools Supt. Ralph Iassogna said in a letter Thursday morning. "This action was necessitated following a shooting incident near Avalon Gates Complex on Old Town Road.  Students on Frenchtown Bus 42 were witness to a portion of this unsettling incident but arrived at the school without any other problems. "

"Since the suspects fled the scene and were not in police custody, Frenchtown was placed in Lockdown and a Trumbull Police Officer was stationed at the school," Iassogna said.

"Both suspects were caught by approximately 9:35 a.m.  You should know that Principal Jackie Norcel, Assistant Principal Diane Strever and the Frenchtown Crisis Team spoke with the students to help allay any anxiety they might have.  As a precautionary measure, a police officer remained at the school for a portion of the day.  Many thanks to Chief Tom Kiely, Lt. Tom Savarese and the Trumbull Police Department who were, once again, outstanding in their response to this incident.  They, the FBI, and the State Police are continuing the investigation," he concluded.

More as the story develops.

Diane May 24, 2012 at 03:08 PM
If the school was in lockdown, why were busses still dropping kids off? What if the suspects were in the woods and started shooting at the kids getting off the bus. I think the busses should have been diverted to another school. Just sayin!
Ela May 24, 2012 at 03:44 PM
I agree, my daughter was on bus 42 and i cant belive They would let the bus go to the School.
tom May 24, 2012 at 04:10 PM
well, hopefully your not involved in what decision that shool makes.
C May 24, 2012 at 04:13 PM
I think you raise a valid question which should be addressed by Trumbull's emergency response team once the full details of the incident are available. Given the start time of the lockdown and the posted capture time of the suspects, it is clear the event occurred as children were exiting the buses to the building. While I'm sure Trumbull police had a strong presence at Frenchtown, it still could have left children exposed had the suspects been on or near the campus. The immediate concerns that come to my mind are a line of school buses full of kids present an idea situation for a hostage standoff. Additionally, had the suspects been on the school campus and exchanged gun fire with the police, children and staff could potentially have been exposed to stray shots. With everything that occurs in our lives we always have the opportunity to do an analysis of the event so we can be better prepared for the future. Perhaps there are some lessons to be learned here. As a Frenchtown parent who has children who take a school bus, should this type of event happen in the future I hope the plan would be to divert the buses to an alternate location. When is comes to the safety of my children in these types of situations I would never be critical of what some may call an "over response". My children are irreplaceable. To the Trumbull and Connecticut State Police and the FBI, thank you for doing what you do day in and day out; our society is better for it.
Aaron Leo (Editor) May 24, 2012 at 04:22 PM
What did the children see?
Scot Kerr May 25, 2012 at 01:14 AM
As the comments above are from parents of students on the affected bus route this morning, I respect your concern, but also suggest that it would have been far more unsettling and caused greater confusion for everyone if the students were transported to another school building. Imagine being on your way to work and getting a text from someone indicating that your child’s bus had been redirected away from the teachers and staff that they know and feel safe with, and can easily account for them. The bus was escorted to school by police and boarded by the Principal as soon as it arrived. I think we should all be thankful and feel secure that the school, local police, and FBI handled things the way they did. Furthermore, the Superintendent’s office made a timely statement and indicated that the emergency response teams had learned much from an earlier event at THS back in 2007. Well done.
Caring Aunt May 25, 2012 at 01:15 PM
My niece was also on bus 42 and saw really graphic and a really scary event as it took place yesterday morning. I was shocked and disappointed to learn by my niece that the assistance provided to her at the school was nothing other than questions; questions about an occurence that already had her terrified, but not guidance. I don't consider this to be the assistance to her anxieties as expected and promised. She woke up this morning talking about her nightmare of fear and now my other niece, her big sister is understandly freightened for her little sister. This has left her mother, to do her very best at ensuring her babies that they are protected and everything will be ok, which I commend her for as this was scary for her as well. As a loving and protective aunt to my beautiful nieces (one in Frenchtown the other in High School), I rely on Frenchtown Elementary School and the Board of Eduction in the State of Connecticut to do the right thing and ensure that the affected kids (as my niece) will be guided through the emotional scaring this will leave in her after today's scary events. I look forward to the proper action to come rapidly in the near future. I completely understand that no one can predicted such events, however, proper preparation and guidance can be put into action from this point on.
Mary C Ryan May 26, 2012 at 01:00 PM
Why just be thankyou no one was hurt and the children and everyone are okay?.I know people. who work there and go to school there, I am grateful for the outcome. Thankyou for everyone involed Mary Ryan Trumbull Ct.
Diane May 30, 2012 at 07:49 PM
I am grateful of the outcome. Greatful that no one was hurt, but no thanks to the way it was handled......first of all to me lock down means no one goes IN or out. Lockdown doesn't mean if we know you we will let you in. I would also have felt much better (@Scott) being a parent and receiving notice that my child was diverted to a place where they didn't know anyone but were SAFE, as opposed to getting a notice of we are sorry, there was an incident at FT and some children were hurt while trying to escort them into the school during a lock down.) I would much rather have my child upset then unsafe. I asked my child if he saw any police there and the answer was no, that is not to say they weren't there, just not very visible. So yes, I am grateful no one was hurt, but worried there could have been a different outcome, then what would your response be Mary c Ryan, if it was your child.

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