As the nation watched anxiously to see how the manhunt in California for accused cop-killer Christopher Jordan Dorner would turn out, a harrowing situation at an Alabama middle school thankfully ended peacefully.
AL.com reports that a man entered the school in Chelsea, Ala., Tuesday afternoon and "held several students at gunpoint."
But the father of one young girl who was held captive says the situation did not end tragically because a physical education teacher "jumped in between the gunman and the students and said, '911 locker room!' " on her radio to alert school officials. And then, a sheriff's deputy who was on duty at the school negotiated with the gunman and got him to lay down his weapon and release the students.
According to WBRC-TV, "the [adult, unidentified] suspect is a former Chelsea Middle School student and a former part time summer help employee, according to the sheriff's department."
Update at 3:10 p.m. ET. More On What Happened.
AL.com just posted a new story about the incident. It reads, in part:
"Distraught over a relationship, authorities said, the man entered the school just after 3 p.m. and went into the locker room, brandishing a gun. As he held the five girls hostage, a PE teacher notified school officials of the emergency in the locker room and the school went into its 'Code Red' emergency lockdown plan.
"A sheriff's deputy who has stood guard at the school's front door since shortly after the mass shootings in Newtown, Conn., was notified of the hostage situation and ran to the locker room, [Sheriff's spokesman Capt. Ken] Burchfield said. He confronted the gunman, and started to talk with him.
"Within about five minutes the deputy, who is a patrol deputy but has training and experience as a school resource officer, talked the man into releasing three of the girls. The conversation continued, and he later released two other girls. Eventually he was able to convince the man to surrender. The school principal was with the deputy every step of the way, Burchfield said. The incident was over in about 20 minutes."