Armed Teacher Surrenders to Police after Machesney Park Standoff

Armed Teacher Surrenders to Police after Machesney Park Standoff

MACHESNEY PARK, IL — An armed  Machesney Park school teacher surrendered to police this afternoon after a four and-a-half hour standoff at a local school. Denise Hornitas, 32, had barricaded herself inside her classroom, in a grade school north of the Machesney Park Mall, after an issue with children not meeting expectations and low self esteem.

A throng of Winnebago County Sheriff’s deputies and local firemen surrounded the school, guns and hoses out, with an appetite for destruction, at about 10:30 a.m.

Hornitas said, “At least 3 students are not able to read at a 6th grade level. I could not reach these students and I knew I never would. It was at that moment I lost it.” said the first grade teacher.

“She started throwing No.2 pencils like she wuz throwing knifes and than she wuz threatening self harm to herself, eating everything out of our lunchboxes!” said frightened student, Wayne Bernard.

Hornitas allegedly came out of the class room briefly shouting at police and firemen, then went back inside to eat more of the students lunches. While she was outside, an officer observed what he thought was a large stapler– or a gun– in Hornitas’s hand. Police believe she had other weapons inside the class room.

A SWAT (School-yard Whoop Ass Team) team was on hand. During the standoff, officers decked in full camouflage — covered head to toe in fake bricks and tree bark– could be seen running across neighborhood streets and into yards blending in with the trees and sides of buildings, securing a tight but loose perimeter.

Harry King, who has lived in the neighborhood all of his life, said, “I was very surprised by today’s events. I woke up and my daughter told me there were guys running around the street with guns and hoses,” King said. “I didn’t believe it.”

According to Sheriff Richard Oscar Meijer, no one was injured. “Everything went well with the negotiators,” Meijer said. “We called in LaVonnica Shetfeild, a school district negotiations expert to talk to Hornitas but that did not work. We then called in one of the wisest and most brilliant men we know, the Mayor of Machesney Park, Tobias Lickstrand. This was the turning point of the day. It only took ole Tobias, along with his assistant and spiritual advisor, Karl Fauster, about 15 minutes to diffuse the situation.”

Hornitas was released from a local hospital and is seeking advise from school district psychic advisor, The Great Paul.



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