Gunman reported in Heartland Church

photo courtesy of Wayne Jenkins Jr

It was an early wake-up call Monday morning for the Kirksville Police Department TMs Special Response Team.

The reason- reports of a person with a gun inside Mary Immaculate Catholic Church.

According to police, a person called central dispatch around 3:30 a.m. Monday claiming two people walked inside the church with a gun.

The initial report that came in was that two people entered the church and one of them had a gun, said Detective Jeremy Cordray with the Kirksville Police Department. The caller then went on to say the person with the gun was possibly involved in a robbery and the caller himself was hiding inside the church.

The Special Response Team was activated a short time later and a perimeter was set up with officers on the scene.

Once on scene, officers blocked off the street to oncoming traffic and notified nearby residents about the situation.

And that TMs when the unit went inside the building.

The Special Response Team went in and cleared the school which is a fairly large facility and so it did take some time, but we were able to clear the building and make sure no other people were inside, Cordray said.

When the school was cleared, officers were then able to focus in on the restroom which is where the alleged armed suspect was reported to be located.

We brought in negotiators who attempted to make contact with anybody that was inside and with my understanding no contact was made, said Cordray.

About an hour after arriving on scene, officers eventually made contact with a male subject inside the restroom.

Luckily no shots were fired and no one was injured and one person was taken into custody, said Cordray.

No weapons were found at the scene and the incident is still under investigation.

The Adair County Sheriff's Office assisted with Monday morning's incident.

The principal of Mary Immaculate Catholic School issued this statement shortly after the incident:

Dear Parents:

Early this morning, an unidentified caller contacted the police and claimed there was a man with a gun and two hostages at Mary Immaculate Church. Sometime before 5 a.m., law enforcement personnel arrived at the church and school property.

With the help of Sr. Ruth Ann Klauser, the school principal, who was at the site, law enforcement personnel planned and conducted a search of the church. At approximately 6:30 a.m. police located a man in the church and took him into custody.

Upon completion of a comprehensive building-by-building search of the church and school grounds, no hostages or weapons were found.

The individual taken into custody was not a member of Mary Immaculate Parish.

No one was threatened or harmed at anytime during this incident.

Sr. Ruth Ann Klauser.Above video is courtesy of Wayne Jenkins Jr at