School Evacuated During Cathedral Standoff - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

10/07/03

School Evacuated During Cathedral Standoff

This morning's standoff at the Cathedral of St. John the Baptist was a frightening experience for people who just happened to be in the area at the time. Pedestrians and cars were diverted, and students at nearby Saint Vincent's Academy had to be evacuated.

Saint Vincent's Academy is located adjacent to the back of the cathedral. This afternoon, police would not let anyone in this area for fear they could be in the line of fire. Students got out quickly and handled the situation just fine; it was the parents who were taken for a frantic ride.

It had been just another Tuesday morning for Lisa Snyder until she got word a gunman was on the lose in downtown Savannah. "Someone at my office told me there was a gunman held up at St. John's," she said. Her daughter is a sophomore at Saint Vincent's, in the same complex as the action.

Sister Helen Marie Buttimer of Saint Vincent's told us, "We heard fire engines and the police officers, they came into school and told us to evacuate the building, get all of the girls out of the way."

The girls made it out safely, camping out in Colonial Cemetery while police got the situation under control. "I know SPD did an incredible job making sure everyone was safe, but as a mom, you still have to see your child," said Snyder. Today's incident made her realize danger can strike anywhere at any time, even in a place many consider to be safe.

Students were allowed back into school at about 10am this morning. In all, eight students went home after today's incident.

Reported by: Elizabeth Garcia, egarcia@wtoc.com

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