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CHERRY TOWNSHIP (KDKA) — Police say a man was caught outside a Butler County high school Friday with multiple weapons, including two loaded shotguns, in his vehicle.
William Russell II, 36, is behind bars at the Butler County Prison.
Early Friday morning, a teacher saw Russell sitting in a Honda Odyssey near the gym in the parking lot of Moniteau Junior/Senior High School. Russell told the teacher he had a sick child on the school bus and was there to pick him up. Russell eventually drove away. A few hours later, he was spotted elsewhere.
“Our school police officer was coming back from his duty at our elementary school and when he pulled into the parking lot, he noticed a similar van in the distance,” said Superintendent Dr. Sean Arney.
“When I went outside, he pointed off in direction to the cemetery where there was a maroon-colored vehicle that had the same elevation and vantage point as what the high school did,” said school police officer Garrick Lapusnak.
School officials called state police and put the junior/senior high school on external lockdown for about an hour.
“We closed all of our exterior doors and we do not let anyone in or out. We close all of our blinds, just to prevent anybody from looking in,” said Arney. “We had a small group of kids that were in PE class down in our fields. Once they realized we were on lockdown, they went into our field house until the lockdown was over.”
When state police approached Russell, he told them he was in the school parking lot earlier that morning to get cell service and when asked if he had kids that attended the school, he told police he did not. Police arrested Russell after they searched the van and found several weapons inside. Police found two loaded shotguns, a pistol and three knives.
“I don’t know what his intention was. To be near a school with weapons is very concerning to me,” said Arney.
“We need everybody’s eyes and ears. If they see something that doesn’t look right, they need to let us know,” said Lapusnak.
Russell is behind bars at the Butler County Prison with a bail set to $100,000.
He’s been charged with driving under the influence, possessing a weapon on school property, disorderly conduct and careless driving.