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Police: Man pulls out gun during domestic dispute, triggering lock down at Waldorf School

Crime and public safety Decatur slideshow

Police: Man pulls out gun during domestic dispute, triggering lock down at Waldorf School

Photo by Dan Whisenhunt
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Photo by Dan Whisenhunt

This story has been updated. 

A man pulled out a gun during a domestic dispute in a parking lot near the Waldorf School of Atlanta on Thursday morning, forcing the school to temporarily go into lock down mode.

Parents contacted Decaturish seeking more information about the incident, which occurred around 8:30 a.m.

A Decatur Police spokesperson said police responded to a call about a domestic dispute.

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“It was reported to officers on scene that the suspect attempted to assault his ex-girlfriend,” the spokesperson said. “The suspect attempted to force his way inside of a vehicle that was parked and occupied by his ex-girlfriend and her friend. The suspect then began to strike the exterior of the vehicle with his hands. The suspect forcefully removed the driver’s side mirror from the vehicle and driver’s side windshield wiper. The suspect struck the vehicle with the windshield wiper, cracking the windshield.”

The front seat passenger tried to exit the vehicle to confront the suspect. As the passenger was exiting, the suspect allegedly pulled out a black pistol from his jacket pocket and pointed it at him.

“At that point, the passenger decided to remain in the vehicle,” the police spokesperson said. “The suspect then fled the scene on foot. No one was injured during this incident.”

Police identified the suspect as Christopher Burnett. Police said he is facing charges of aggravated assault, aggravated stalking, possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony, and 2nd degree criminal damage to property.

Anyone with information about his location should contact the Decatur Police Department at (404) 373-6551.

The Waldorf School sent this letter to parents with additional information about the incident:

Dear Parents,

Thank you for your patience today. Some of you may have noticed police cars in the parking lot this morning during drop-off. The circumstances around the incident this morning are now more clear, and I can share the main points with you. There was a domestic disturbance involving a family using services at Our House, which resulted in a 911 call.

A very distressed father used a windshield wiper to break a car window. At no time were the children or staff directly threatened during this incident or its aftermath. Without all the information at the time, and acting cautiously, we initiated a ‘soft-lockdown’. A ‘soft-lockdown means that we secure outside entrances, and notify all that no one is to leave their building.

The Officer in Charge did communicate with us twice before leaving the site. He advised caution, but did not direct us to continue the lockdown. He did promise police cars on the property for both dismissals today. Other than transporting the Middle School students back to school from the play performance at the Methodist Home property, children were not generally aware of anything out of the ordinary. Coincidentally, we have set aside time tomorrow to review our security and communication protocols. We will review the actions we took today and further consider options for a similar situation. Thank you again for your understanding.

Correction: Police initially identified the suspect as the victim’s ex-husband. Police later corrected that report, and said he was the victim’s ex-boyfriend. This story has been updated with the correct information. 

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