CHOCTAW, Okla. (KFOR) – Choctaw High School football players and coaches experienced a scary situation Tuesday, when a man showed up to practice with a gun. 

“There was someone there that shouldn’t [have been],” said Choctaw Police Chief Kelly Marshall.

According to Chief Marshall, coaches were greeting players who were just getting to practice when Latrell Mensah, 20, allegedly approached them. 

Latrell Mensah. Image from Oklahoma County Detention Center.

“They began to talk to him, and I believe he was asking for someone that they did not know, and a coach thought that he saw a handgun in his waistband,” said Chief Marshall. “He made gestures and things like that that concerned the coaches.”

Police say Mensah eventually left the grounds but feeling puzzled and concerned, the ordeal prompted coaches to call police and lock down the facility. 

Meanwhile police sprang into action to track Mensah down. 

“The coaches gave us a great description, direction of travel, description of what the suspect looked like,” said Chief Marshall.

Police located Mensah, who’s passenger was a minor, about a mile and a half away and Mensah pulled over into the Nicoma Park Elementary School lot. 

Chief Kelly said Mensah denied having a weapon. However, the gun was located on the female juvenile. 

Mensah is now locked up in the Oklahoma County Detention Center. According to the jail’s website, he’s facing charges of assault and battery with a dangerous weapon, possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, unlawful carry in certain places, possession of a controlled substance and driving with a license suspended or revoked. 

Police say charges for the minor will be presented to the Juvenile D.A. later this week. 

“The female will have the possession of a firearm on school property and assault battery with the dangerous weapon as well,” explained Chief Kelly. “We know he was in possession of it at the high school. She was in possession of it in the parking lot at the elementary school.” 

David Reid, the Superintendent of Choctaw-Nicoma Park Schools sent the following emails to district parents. The first one was sent at 2:11 p.m. 

“Parents/Guardians,

In the spirit of open communication, we are bringing your attention to an incident that occurred at CHS today.  A person not associated with the district showed up at football practice asking to see a student.  One of the coaches noticed what he thought was a gun in this person’s belt. The coach immediately contacted the police and locked down the facility.  The police apprehended this individual and have him in custody.  Choctaw PD is conducting an investigation.

We always keep our students’ safety as our top priority.  Thank you for your support to Choctaw-Nicoma Park Schools.

Sincerely,

David Reid, Superintendent” 

Ried sent out a second email about an hour and a half later. 

“CHS football coaches were the real heroes of today’s events. Several coaches remained outside the locker room greeting students as they arrived for practice which is a normal routine. As an unfamiliar person approached the locker room, a coach intervened and got the person diverted, called 911, and stayed on the phone providing details to police until the person was apprehended. We are all grateful these coaches placed themselves in harm’s way in order to protect the students.

CNP Schools teach the GOLD Standard, and these coaches displayed this and more in a very intense situation.

We would also like to thank the resource offices in the CNP District and the Choctaw PD for their quick response. They are committed to a partnership with the school district to provide safe and secure campuses. Their presence is invaluable.

Respectfully,

David Reid, Superintendent” 

“Our parents and our staff and our school students, you know, deserve to feel safe on campus,” said Chief Kelly. “They did everything right. It just worked out perfectly.”