Police arrest armed intruder at CAPA

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A 23-year-old man was under arrest after police said he entered the Creative and Performing Arts school building Downtown with a gun and alcohol and then injured a security guard as he tried to escape school grounds.

Aaron Darrand Mohamed was scheduled to be arraigned sometime today on charges of aggravated assault, recklessly endangering another person, criminal trespass, possessing a weapon, carrying a firearm without a license and possession of a weapon on school grounds.

School officials said they were still investigating how the man got into the building when he came through an entrance guarded by a school security guard. He entered through the school's main entrance on Ninth Street.

"The gentlemen came through an entrance where there was security," said Pittsburgh Public Schools spokeswoman Ebony Pugh. "We just are investigating how he was able to get through with the weapon."

According to the criminal complaint, Mr. Mohamed came to the school's entrance and told Alfonso Roberts, a security guard, that he was there to pick up a relative for an early dismissal. Mr. Mohamed had a birth certificate and a bottle of alcohol in a bag on him, Mr. Roberts told police.

Mr. Roberts told Mr. Mohamed to remain at the entrance while he "went to verify the dismissal was legitimate." When he returned to the entrance, Mr. Mohamed was gone.

Later, student Christopher Olds encountered Mr. Mohamed in the men's bathroom on the building's first floor. Christopher told police the man "appeared jumpy and kinda scared me," the criminal complaint said. Christopher then said he saw Mr. Mohamed pick up a gun off of the bathroom sink and leave.

The student immediately notified a janitor who told security guards. Mr. Roberts again approached Mr. Mohamed and brought him into the security office. While Mr. Mohamed was being searched, a silver firearm fell to the ground. Mr. Mohamed immediately fled, heading for an exit on the Fort Duquesne Boulevard side of the building.

Mr. Roberts caught up to him, and a struggle ensued. The men eventually crashed through a glass door and ended up struggling on the sidewalk. A passer-by saw the two men and helped Mr. Roberts detain Mr. Mohamed.

Mr. Roberts had to be taken to Allegheny General Hospital to be treated for cuts.

It was later determined that Mr. Mohamed was carrying a .38-caliber handgun, but it was not loaded, Ms. Pugh said.

Ms. Pugh said there will be increased security at the school today.

Moriah Balingit can be reached at mbalingit@post-gazette.com or 412-263-2533.


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