Surveillance video released of woman sneaking into Mattawan school during lockdown
MATTAWAN, Mich. (NEWSCHANNEL 3) —
Surveillance video was released that shows a suspect sneaking into Mattawan High School during the chaos after an officer-involved shooting lockdown.
Police say the woman was arrested moments later and while they say no students were ever in danger, the school district said the incident played a part in its decision to re-evaluate the relationship with the police department.
Newschannel 3's Mike Krafcik spoke with Mattawan Superintendent Robin Buchler about the incident.
The superintendent confirmed that Lacie Tutt, 25, after entering the high school, remained inside for four minutes, before being arrested.
The Mattawan Police School Resource Officer assigned to the school was not in the building when the incident happened.
Mattawan High School security cameras show Tutt appeared to blend in, as she entered a student entrance.
At 8:35 a.m. Tutt is seen entering a room by the athletic department where students were being ushered in since the lockdown was still in effect.
Buchler said, “With them thinking that she was a person that needed, that they wanted to be safe from what was going on in Mattawan, so they took her right in lockdown position.”
Buchler said Tutt remained in the room unchecked until an employee thought she looked suspicious.
Buchler said, “More than anything, she looked very nervous.”
An officer outside the school was alerted at 8:39.
Several officers, including a Michigan State Police trooper, walked in, apprehend Tutt and lead her out the building into a deputy's vehicle; four minutes after entering the building.
When asked if it is an acceptable response, Buchler said, “No, that is never acceptable. I would never want to do anything to put students or staff in harm, but it happened. And we’re learning from it.”
Buchler said Tutt might have been caught sooner if the Mattawan School Resource Officer, a Mattawan Police Officer assigned to the campus, was there.
Buchler said, “Our school resource officer was pulled away to help with that incident.”
It's part of the reason why Buchler announced last week that the school system will hire a school resource officer from another department, instead of the Mattawan Police Department.
She said, “I think the size of Mattawan is challenging for the staffing for the Mattawan Village Police and we need someone that can absolutely be here the entire time.”
In the wake of the incident, the superintendent says they have tightened procedures for how staff and students handle lockdown situations.