Tredegar pupils caught up in Washington gun incident

Tredegar Comprehensive School group photo Image copyright Tredegar Comprehensive School

School children from Blaenau Gwent were caught up in a dramatic armed incident while on a trip in the United States.

One pupil from Tredegar Comprehensive School was on the phone to her mother when police shot an armed man as he tried to enter the US Capitol Building visitor centre in Washington.

Lisa Reardon told BBC Radio Wales how her daughter, Chelsea, began screaming down the phone, "he's got a gun".

The school said all pupils and staff "are safe".

Police called the shooting an "isolated" incident.


Ms Reardon paid tribute to the way teachers dealt with children, including her 16-year-old daughter.

"The next minute she is screaming down the phone to me saying, 'he's got a gun, he's got a gun'," she said.

"The first thing that goes through my head is what the hell is going on.

Image copyright EPA
Image caption US Capitol Police officer with Capitol Building, the seat of the United States Congress

"Even though I'm panicking, I'm trying to calm her down as well, saying, you have to listen to the teacher.

"Everything was going through my mind. I felt more useless than anything."

A female bystander suffered minor injuries when police fired at the suspect.

Ms Reardon said: "The teachers were amazing for looking after them and reassuring them. They are carrying on with their trip. It is not going to stop them.

"I can't wait for her to come home on Thursday."

Tredegar Comprehensive School said all pupils and staff were safe, that it had spoken to parents to reassure them and the trip was "continuing as planned".

Chairman of governors at the school, councillor John Morgan, said: "We are just relieved that all the pupils and the staff are safe and happy and able to continue with this amazing trip, which is part of their history and arts studies.

"The staff, who are experienced at travelling with pupils on school trips, were extremely professional in caring for and supporting the pupils .

"I know that parents have been quick in expressing their gratitude for this."

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