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Orangetown district superintendent says schools are safe

Ken Mitchell, who disarmed a school gunman in 2009, says he is dedicated to protecting area schools. (12/21/12)

BLAUVELT - News 12 spoke with an Orangetown school official today about a school shooting attempt he thwarted several years ago.

Back in June 2009, a gunman burst into South Orangetown Middle School and held Superintendent Ken Mitchell at gunpoint. Mitchell was able to tackle the suspect to the ground and wrestle the weapon out of his hand.

"My first reaction was to try to diffuse the situation and hope I could do my job and delay until the police arrived," he says.

EXPANDED COVERAGE: News 12 Westchester's Coverage

PHOTOS: Photos from the Scene and the Shooting's Aftermath

WATCH: Video Coverage of the Shooting

In the wake of last Friday's shooting, Mitchell says schools need to constantly re-evaluate their safety procedures. He insists that Orangetown schools are safe, but that vigilance is key.

The man who held Mitchell hostage was a parent, apparently upset over the district's swine flu policy after his child became sick. He is serving five years in state prison.

 

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