Teacher detains armed suspect outside Moses Lake school during lockdown

Moses Lake
Image via Moses Lake Police Department, FB

MOSES LAKE, Wash. — When a male suspect allegedly threatened students outside of a school in Grant County, he wasn’t expecting to be confronted and detained by a teacher. Little did he know, the former Chief of the Moses Lake Police Department was on the school’s staff.

According to the Moses Lake Police Department, two students reported being threatened outside Columbia Basin Technical Skills Center around 2:00 p.m. on Sept. 27, 2022. All schools in the area immediately entered a lockdown to ensure the safety of students and faculty.

That’s when former Police Chief Dave Ruffin rushed into the parking lot to confront the suspect and protect his students. He located the suspect and swiftly detained him while Moses Lake police officers responded to the campus.

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During their investigation, MLPD officers learned that 22-year-old Leonel Balderas-Mondragon visited the campus to pick up a relative. He is accused of approaching two students in a car, displaying his gun and threatening them.

Balderas-Mondragon admitted that his 9-millimeter handgun was in his vehicle. His car was impounded pending a search warrant and he was brought into custody.

The lockdown was lifted and school operations resumed as usual just after. However, Balderas-Mondragon was transported to Grant County Jail, where he faces charges of felony threats, unlawful possession of a firearm on school grounds and unlawful display of a firearm, per MLPD.

This is a breaking news story. An update and/or follow-up may be issued if further details are revealed.

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