Groveport Madison High School went on lockdown for about 15 minutes on Sept. 27 after a scuffle among adults resulted in a shot being fired through the roof of the bus garage located just north of the school.
The confrontation involved Petermann Transportation employees and suspect Jeremiah Morgan, 42, of Obetz. No students or school employees were involved.
In his written report of the incident, Groveport Police officer Chris Gyke stated Morgan allegedly walked into the bus garage and called out the name of one of the employees. Morgan then is alleged to have pulled out a Ruger .44 caliber handgun and pointed it toward Petermann employee Corey Gillman, 35. According to Gyke’s report, Gillman grabbed Morgan’s hand and struggled with him for the gun. During this confrontation the gun went off sending a bullet through the roof of the bus garage. At this point another Petermann employee helped Gillman take the gun away from Morgan. Witnesses said Morgan then left the building and began to drive away in his vehicle.
According to Groveport Police Chief Gary York, Groveport police received a call reporting the shooting at 12:14 p.m. and five Groveport police officers and four Madison Township officers responded. Gyke, who is also the school resource officer on duty at Groveport Madison High School, heard the call about the incident on his radio and he chased down Morgan’s vehicle on foot after Petermann employees pointed it out as it was pulling away. Gyke arrested Morgan without further problems.
No one was injured in the incident, according to the Groveport Police Department.
Police charged Morgan with felonious assault and illegal conveyance of a firearm on school property.
In an interview Sept. 28, York said the incident unfolded swiftly.
"He (Gillman) reacted quickly," said York. "He grabbed the suspect’s wrist moving it upward with the gun pointed toward the ceiling. One round discharged through the ceiling. The angle of the exit of the bullet shows it went towards the stadium (just west of the school)."
York said the incident is possibly domestically related as the suspect’s wife is a bus driver for Petermann Transportation.
York said Groveport Madison High School, as well as neighboring Eastland Career Center and Groveport Community School, went on lockdown as a "precautionary measure until we determined what happened."
Groveport Madison High School Principal Dennis Toler sent a letter to parents on Sept. 27 noting the school went on lockdown from 12:20 p.m. to 12:35 p.m. Classes and the regular schedule resumed after school officials were assured the suspect was in police custody.
York praised Gyke for his fast actions in making the arrest.
"Officer Gyke reacted quickly," said York. "I’m proud of how he handled himself to make the arrest."
York also noted the bravery of the Petermann Transportation employees who diffused the incident.
"It was brave of them to step into a dangerous situation and disarm the suspect and they did it without anyone getting hurt," said York.