Firearm scare forces lockdown at Ravenna elementary school

West Main Elementary School in Ravenna underwent an emergency lockdown Monday after a man with a firearm was reported on the school playground.

Ravenna Police responded to the gun report at 3:25 p.m., and they detained two young men who were in possession of a black and silver airsoft pellet gun, which closely resembled a real handgun, according to a press release from the Ravenna Police Department.

Vincent A. Keen, 18, was arrested and charged with trespassing, inducing panic and illegal conveyance. Joshua R. Richter, 19, was released after police determined he was not involved with the brandishing of the pellet gun.

Keen was arraigned Tuesday afternoon.

Illegal Conveyance

  • Illegal conveyance is the possession of an object that looks similar to an actual weapon or is an actual firearm in a school safety zone.
  • This rule does not apply to law enforcement officers or state employees authorized to carry weapons.
  • A person who violates this law could be charged with a fourth or fifth degree felony.


Wallis said the school’s safety policies were put into effect as intended, shutting down the building for the rest of the day. No one was allowed in or out of the building during the lockdown, as the alleged trespassers were outside of the building.

“If there was somebody already inside, typically what would happen is they would lock all the doors and move to a safe part of the room and wait for further instructions,” Wallis said.

Wallis said it is common for air- soft guns to be mistaken for live weapons.

“The teacher was inside and saw these young adults pull the gun out — it looked real,” Wallis said. “A lot of times it’s pretty hard to distinguish without actually getting your hands on it. From a distance, a lot of those guns look pretty real.”

Monday’s events mark the second gun threat Ravenna schools have faced since the Chardon High shooting. Wallis recalled another incident “about a month ago” that was averted by police intervention.

“It was right after Chardon,” Wallis said. “A young man from another school district was possibly going to bring a gun to school, so we had to go after that.”

Debbie Grant, West Main Elementary Principal, and Dennis Honkala, Ravenna School District Superintendent, could not be reached for comment as of press time.

Contact Jennifer Shore at [email protected] an Conner Howard at [email protected].