Man Hiding in the Woods Arrested in Francis Howell Teacher Shooting


A man found hiding in a tunnel in the woods this morning near the site where a Francis Howell High School teacher was shot yesterday has been arrested.

The wooded area where the man was found is also located near the school itself. Fox 2 reports that Francis Howell, located in Weldon Spring, was put on lockdown this morning after investigators found a tent in the woods.

Near 11:30 a.m., the man was spotted in a tunnel that runs under Highway 94 just south of the school into the August A. Busch Memorial Conservation Area, the Post-Dispatch reports. The man reportedly ran approximately 80 yards before finally complying with police orders to get on the ground.

Police have described the man as a "person of interest" and said they will be questioning him. A spokeswoman for the St. Charles County police department says she does not know if a weapon was found. Police have not released a name.

The teacher has been identified only as a 36-year-old man who was running on a trail in the woods at approximately 2:45 p.m. Wednesday when he crossed paths with a man he did not know. Right after they saw one another, the other man pulled a gun and opened fire on the teacher, striking him once in the back.

The assailant then ran off through the woods. He was described as a while male in his 30s or 40s, wearing a black coat and tan pants.

The teacher, who was found by a good Samaritan and brought back to the school before traveling via ambulance to a hospital, says he did not recognize the man who shot him. He was treated and released from the hospital Wednesday night.

School had already let out for the day when the shooting took place. Students participating in after-school activities were locked down and released to their parents under police supervision. The school was also on lockdown Thursday morning while police searched for the suspect.

With the man hiding in the tunnel now in custody, that lockdown has been lifted.

Police urge anyone with information on the shooting to contact them at 636-949-3000 or through their tip line at 636-949-3002.

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