Report: Suspect ‘wanted to see what the response was if he came into the school’, arrested at Greeneville H.S.


12P.M. UPDATE (WJHL)– Greeneville Police have identified the “unauthorized” individual that entered Greeneville High School Friday morning.

According to police, Brandon M. Whittaker, 33, was arrested Friday for Aggravated Criminal Trespassing.

In a police report, it stated that the attendance office secretary had unlocked the inner doors for Walters State College students and noticed “someone in the group had their hoodie up which is a dress code violation.”

The person in the hoodie, Brandon M. Whittaker, reportedly continued to enter the school where there were children.

Eventually, Whittaker was escorted back to the “vestibule area of the attendance entrance” and that’s when it is reported that he ran out of the main doors and into the back driveway of the school.

As authorities began their search for Whittaker, the school was placed on lockdown and police arrived at the school within minutes.

Authorities discovered Whittaker near the Niswonger Performing Arts Center (NPAC) side of the school.

The police report details that once Whittaker removed his hoodie he stated he, “Wanted to see what the response was if he came into the school.”

Director of Greeneville City Schools Steve Starnes says he doesn’t take this lightly.

 “One of our top priorities is safety, we take that very seriously…We practice with [school resource officers], we practice with the police department and we have protocols in place,” said Starnes.

As stated above Whittaker is now facing an aggravated criminal trespassing charge.

Both the Director of Schools and Assistant Police Chief say that the quick actions of the school secretary changed the trajectory of today’s events…for the good.

“What she did was amazing and thankful that she did that. It spun all the other things that go along with that and stopped this very quickly,” says Assistant Greeneville Police Chief Mike Crum.

Lisa Martin is a Greeneville City Schools parent and she is just thankful that everything turned out to be okay.

“It seems like every year, something happens where the kids are going on lock down and I’m just so happy that they are really watching who’s coming in and out of the schools and paying attention and keeping our kids safe,” says Martin.


GREENEVILLE, Tenn. (WJHL) – An “Unauthorized, unidentified individual” has been arrested after entering Greeneville High School this morning.

According to a post by the Greeneville City Schools, the person got into the school about 9:40 a.m. Friday while students were walking into the building.

The post states that all district schools were immediately placed on lockdown.

“Greeneville Police Department quickly apprehended and arrested the suspect,” the release stated.

All students and staff are reportedly safe and the school day will continue on a regular schedule.

News Channel 11 has reached out to Greeneville Police and Greeneville City Schools for more information.

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