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Man injures self breaking into high school; blood left in hallways over weekend

Published: May. 17, 2022 at 1:57 PM EDT|Updated: May. 17, 2022 at 11:18 PM EDT
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RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - Richmond Police are investigating a break-in at Richmond Community High School (RCHS) that happened over the weekend.

On Sunday, May 15, around 1 a.m., a man broke into RCHS by smashing through the building’s windows and injured himself. Police identified the man as Garin Pappas of Warrenton.

As Pappas navigated through the building, he tracked blood throughout the school.

As the intruder navigated through the building he tracked blood throughout the school.
As the intruder navigated through the building he tracked blood throughout the school.(NBC12 Viewer)

The school’s security system was triggered, and nighttime security arrived within 15 minutes of the incident.

Richmond police were called to the scene, arrested the man, and gave him medical treatment.

According to RCHS, the building was fully secured, cleaned and disinfected on Monday afternoon. But some students and staff saw the blood and other evidence of the incident that morning.

“There was blood covering the entire hallway; there was some blood on the water fountain. I just heard about that today, and there was also some in the classroom,” Naj Ouerhani, a student, said.

Ouerhani said he was one of many students who saw the blood around his school.

“It felt weird like maybe I was in a movie or something,” Ouerhani said.

Parents were notified about the break-in Monday afternoon, but parents were confused as to why their students were sent to school Monday morning.

“I do feel like the decision to have them back in the building before it was cleaned up; I am a little bit confused as to why that decision was made,” Kim Lewis, a parent, said.

RPS said this was because of a miscommunication between staff that responded on Sunday.

Come Monday morning, teachers and staff were unaware of what had happened the day before.

“I understand that the teachers don’t come in, you know, a lot before the kids and easily could have missed a thing,” Katherine Gallagher, a parent, said. “My only concern was whether or not they had access to blood because there are all sorts of blood-borne pathogens.”

But one student, who wanted to remain anonymous, said that some students did walk through the blood.

“I heard that the students didn’t know what it was because no one told them, and so they were just walking around it,” a student said.

A second email went out to parents on Tuesday describing what led up to Pappas being arrested.

“That should not have happened, and we apologize for any distress caused to our community,” said Richmond Public Schools in a statement.

The Richmond Police Department is continuing to investigate the incident actively. Pappas has been charged with trespassing on school property and destruction of property.

RPS is reviewing its security and custodial protocols to prevent an incident like this again.

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