OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – A man with a gun showed up at Choctaws High School’s football practice last week. Thursday, police tell KFOR he was looking for a student.
Choctaw-Nicoma Park School District is now providing extra safety precautions for area schools following the incident last week.
According to police, football coaches were greeting players who were just getting to practice. That’s when Latrell Mensah, allegedly approached them and was armed. He is now facing additional charges on a $75,000 bond. Mensah is still in custody today.
“I’m also grateful that they greet him every day… Around July 4th, the male starts sending my son texts saying, he was going to be in a body bag. He was a dead man walking… My son was going to lose his life,” said Rayne Osborn, mother of victim.
Choctaw Police Chief Kelly Marshall tells us the whole situation stems from a girl.
“Something over the summer, I think, boiled over into the start of the school year. Mensah had told our victim, leave this girl alone. And apparently, he thought that he hadn’t. So, this is all over a girl,” Kelly Marshall, Choctaw Police Chief.
A different girl who was at the scene that day is now part of the investigation.
The gun was later found on the female juvenile the day of the incident in the parking lot at Choctaw elementary school. She’s facing charges, but police know Mensah was in possession of it at the High School originally.
“The coach spotted the weapon in his waistband once they left the school. Apparently, Mensah had given it to the juvenile to hold and the gun was found when she was searched,” said Marshall.
Rayne Osborn believes her son, Imani Jones, would have died that day if it weren’t for him seeing Mensah before he walked into practice, and if the coaches hadn’t stepped in as well.
“Imani was dating a girl and the girl was giving him rides back and forth to football training sessions… Mensah told the girl that she can’t give Imani free rides anymore and that Imani doesn’t need to get in the car. So around July 4th, Mensah starts sending my son texts saying he was going to be in a body bag. He was a dead man walking,” said Osborn.
Police say Mensah and the female juvenile he was with both have never been students at the school.
The school district tells KFOR, “We are grateful that our dedicated and selfless coaching staff was willing to put themselves in harm’s way to protect all our students. After any incident, we do a self-evaluation from a district perspective,” said David Reid, Superintendent.
Since the time of the incident there have been over 10 additional safety measures implemented at the school.
Below are the new measures:
Ø Increased parking lot presence by administration and staff
Ø Doors to all athletic facilities remain locked until a coach is present and able to monitor entrance and exits to the facility
Ø Evaluation was conducted which resulted in a number of nonessential doors being locked
Ø Increased methods for communication between staff and administration
Ø All staff has access to RAVE Panic button
Ø Evaluation and recommendations were conducted by the Oklahoma School Security Institute (A division of Homeland Security)
Ø SafeSchool ID System for screening visitors has been installed in the main building and the freshmen center
Ø Increased emphasis on supervision in halls and outside courtyards during passing periods and lunches
Ø Students will be required to wear site specific ID badges for quick identification
Ø Working with a contractor to build a secure entrance with buzz-in system in both the main building and the freshmen center
On top of the school’s safety precautions, Choctaw police will have four to five officers present at all home football games.