Van driver fatally shot by West Palm police on Dreyfoos campus. Here's what we know.

  • In US
  • 2022-05-13 23:13:38Z
  • By Palm Beach Daily News

The driver of a van which crashed through the gates at Dreyfoos School of the Arts fought a school resource officer on campus and was shot and killed by a West Palm Beach police officer midday Friday.

According to a West Palm Beach police spokesman, students were on campus when the incident took place, but not in the main theater hall.

The van driver has not been identified. No Dreyfoos students or staff were injured in the incident.

Here's what we know about the incident on Friday.

Full coverage: Van driver was fighting school officer at Dreyfoos when city police arrived, shot him dead

'We are on a code red .. its real.': Dad rushes to Dreyfoos after daughter's text

Police were alerted to a wrong-way van driver blocks away from Dreyfoos

Dispatch operators received calls about a van going the wrong way on Banyan Boulevard, four blocks north of the school.

Students were finishing up their lunch period when the van crashed through the school's locked back metal gates, facing Tamarind Avenue.

The van plowed through campus, striking a palm tree, taking out several breezeway columns and narrowly missing staff members in a golf cart, police spokesman Mike Jachles said.

'All of a sudden we hear screaming': Students tell what happened inside Dreyfoos during shooting

Van driver confronted by school resource officer on Dreyfoos campus

According to Jachles, the man who drove the van got out and ran around campus erratically before being confronted by a school police officer in the auditorium.

The two men were involved in what Jachles described as "a violent confrontation" when a city police officer arrived. The city's officer shot once and the man went down. Authorities began CPR immediately, but the man died.

Jachles said it was unclear if the man had a weapon. What was certain, he said, was that the man was behaving erratically.

Neither the man driving the van nor the West Palm Beach officer have been identified

The van driver who died in the incident has not been identified, nor has the school resource officer who fought him.

Police have not identified the officer who pulled the trigger. Per department protocol following a shooting, that officer is on paid leave, Jachles said.

Students were in the middle of a 'chaotic' code red

Dreyfoos has roughly 1,400 students enrolled, although seniors were not on campus Friday, having finished the academic year the day before.

Many students were not in classrooms, as the incident occurred at the end of Dreyfoos' lunch period. Many were heading back to class when Dreyfoos was suddenly in an emergency lockdown.

Hearing a loud crash, many students in the cafeteria began running toward the exit. One student, Lucas Solano, said, "It was chaotic. I started panicking, but they told us to calm down."

Many students found themselves hiding and texting loved ones. A dozen others made their way to a nearby business to hide.

Dreyfoos was also site of a double homicide during summer 2013

In 2013, Dreyfoos was the site of a double shooting that resulted in the deaths of two janitors at the school: Ted Orama, 56, and Christopher Marshall, 48.

The two men were shot and killed during a break for students. They were found at 6:30 a.m. on June 19, 2013.

Arrest in double homicide: Man arrested in 2013 murder of Dreyfoos school janitors

Sentencing: Man who killed Dreyfoos janitors pleads guilty, sentenced to life

Four years later, their co-worker, Javier Burgos, was extradited from Colombia and convicted in the deaths of Orama and Marshall. Burgos is currently serving a life sentence in the two murders.

This article originally appeared on Palm Beach Post: Dreyfoos shooting: Driver shot, killed by police. Here's what we know.


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