A house burglary on Paul Drive forced Moorestown Friends School into a lockout around 3:30 PM on Tuesday afternoon. According to MFS administration, a family member returned home to discover a robber inside the house. Fleeing the scene, the suspect was believed to be running toward the school athletics fields.
Moorestown police promptly arrived on campus and parked on the athletic fields. Mr. Shaffer went out to a police SUV to provide important communication via radio between police and school officials.
Students and athletes were kept inside the school, unaware of the circumstances. In reflecting on seeing Mr. Brandon run out to the field, freshman Alexis Kasper remarked, “At first I was very confused. I had no idea what was going on, but soon students started rumors that police were outdoors. Then I knew something was wrong.”
Overseeing athletes in the Field House Commons, Mr. Aviles and boys’ soccer coach Dennis kept the athletes calm and safe. “Everyone seemed pretty worried, but thanks to Mr. Aviles and Coach Dennis, everyone was kept informed as the events unfolded,” said junior Josh Murdy.
At 3:30, an official lockout announcement was projected over the school PA sytem, emphasizing that the situation was not a drill. All athletes were directed to the practice gym, and students in halls were ushered into the nearest classrooms. The doors were locked, window shades shut, and lights turned off. The lockout, during which no one was allowed to enter or leave the building, provoked great anxiety among the students. “I was in Mrs. McFeely’s room,” recounted junior Julia Levine. “People were texting their parents and checking the Moorestown Police twitter account. We were all huddled together on the ground until the school announcement said everything was okay.”
The lockout officially ended at 3:40, when the police informed school officials that the school campus was declared safe. Police believe that the suspect abandoned the scene of the robbery in a vehicle.
Assistant Director of Athletics Ron Obermier explained, “All athletes were asked to stay in the Field House Commons. Then they were escorted to the practice gym for the lockout; however, within ten minutes, it was all clear and athletes went out to the fields to begin practice.”