Local News

Congressman Helps Subdue Woman Claiming To Have Gun

Posted May 12, 2004 2:44 a.m. EDT

— Quick thinking by a North Carolina congressman helped end a threatening situation at an elementary school.

North Carolina Rep. Bob Etheridge was speaking at L.C. Kerr Elementary School Tuesday when Linda Ervin, 38, of Clinton, started talking about visions of demons. As police approached Ervin, she claimed she had a gun and reached into her purse.

Etheridge grabbed Ervin and held her arms to her side until officials already at the scene could subdue her.

"I did what anyone else would do in a similar situation. As a parent and as someone who spends a lot of time in schools, I know how precious our children are," Etheridge said in a statement. "I am just happy that everyone is safe and sound and that the situation is resolved. Schools should be a safe haven for children, and I will keep working in Congress to provide needed resources to keep our schools and our children safe."

Police did not find a gun in Ervin's purse, but they did find one in her car.

Two hundred students were in the auditorium at the time of the incident.

Ervin is in custody and faces a mental evaluation. The school sent out a notice to parents.