MIAMI (CBSMiami) – There was a man with an AR-15 near South Dade Senior High School in Homestead Thursday morning, which led to a precautionary lockdown, but he was not connected to the school.
After an exhaustive search, police arrested 23-year-old Christian Edinger, who was spotted near the school with an AR-15 while riding a dirt bike, as parents dropped their kids off.
Alarmed parents flooded 911 and the school with calls to report what they had seen.
“South Dade Senior High School went on lockdown this morning after reports of a man sitting on a dirt bike in traffic along SW 288th Street with a rifle sticking out of his back pack,” said Miami-Dade County Public Schools Superintendent Alberto Carvalho.
Carvalho held a news conference several hours after the lockdown was lifted to remind the community that the security protocols in place did work.
“Number one, he was riding this vehicle in an area fairly close to South Dade Senior High School. Secondly, the clothing that he was wearing was described as matching the uniform colors of students at South Dade Senior High School and those were two huge red flags that could not be ignored,” explained Carvalho.
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Videos posted on social media by students showed officers with guns drawn methodically searching the entire school to make sure everything was okay.
About a thousand frantic and fearful parents gathered outside the school, concerned over the safety of their children.
“It was inconvenient for parents, but we did the right thing, we made the right call and took the right precautionary steps,” said Carvalho.
After the lockdown was lifted, Edinger was found at a home near the school where he rents an efficiency.
According to Miami-Dade County Public Schools Police, Edinger told them he went to his brother’s house around 4:00 a.m. because “his brother was having problems with people.” He did not elaborate.
His brother lives on the south side of the school.
While driving home from his brother’s house, Edinger was spotted on his dirt bike with the ‘barrel of a rifle protruding from his book bag that he was wearing,” according to the police arrest form.
Someone else later spotted Edinger entering a home in the 17-thousand block of SW 288th Street.
When police questioned him, he explained what happened and voluntarily showed police the AR-15 and two other guns he had stored in a hard case under his bed.
In addition to the Colt AR-15, he also had a Remington 870 shotgun and a Beretta 9MM hand gun.
“We made the right call, took the right precautionary steps, and in the end thanks to these brave men and women we apprehended the individual,” said Carvalho.
Edinger was charged with Improper Exhibition of a Firearm and Interference with an Educational Institution and booked into TGK.
The police report also says Edinger was very apologetic for his actions and understood his actions were criminal.