Posted for: Willie Wonka, HMFWIC
A California man has been charged after he allegedly pointed a gun at an elementary school administrator who was directing traffic during morning drop-offs last week, Los Angeles prosecutors announced.
Vahe Armen, 32, allegedly drove into the busy carpool line of the Larchmont Charter Elementary School in West Hollywood on the morning of November 16, then stepped out of the car with a rifle in his hands and pointed it at the school administrator, according to a release from Los Angeles County District Attorney George Gascón.
The administrator saw Armen point the “assault-style” rifle at her, and she frantically waved children inside the school before he got back into his car and drove off.
Police later apprehended Armen on Sunset Boulevard, where he was found in his car with a weapon, prosecutors said.
“In an era plagued by an epidemic of mass shootings at schools across our nation, every parent in America faces an unimaginable fear when they send their children to school. It is an unfair burden that no parent should bear,” Gascón said.
A parent, who didn’t want to be identified, told The Post there was an unrelated call for a bomb threat near the school earlier last week, which didn’t turn out to be real.
Parents and staff were already on high alert when they saw the suspect pull up to the school with the weapon on Thursday.
“It was around 10 minutes after everyone dropped off their kids that we all got an alert from Citizen [phone application], so a bunch of families who live close by rushed back to the school,” the parent said.
“Police were there and they said this person has been there before and he’s known to them. … Luckily nothing happened but of course the teachers were very visibly shaken. Quite frankly, it’s infuriating because these things are avoidable when city officials do nothing.”
Another parent, who also wanted to remain anonymous, told The Post the suspect went into the school property via the parents’ carpool line.
“He exited his car and he took out what appeared to be an automatic weapon and pointed it toward one of the administrators who was handing out the tardy slips,” the parent said.
“He stopped at the carpool line and pointed the weapon, but we have an amazing administrator who had to really think on her feet and was able to get the kids inside. She saw him coming and was able to get the kids in right away. Then the school went on lockdown.”
The parents said they don’t know who the suspect is or if he’s connected to the school.
Armen faces one count of assault with a deadly weapon or by means likely to cause great bodily injury on a school employee, along with one count of weapons on the grounds of a grades K-12 school.
He also faces charges for assault on an elder from a separate October 24 incident.
It is unclear what the motivations of the alleged incident were. Armen remains behind bars on $5 million bail, and could face up to seven years if convicted.