Authorities have identified a man who police say scaled a Long Beach elementary school fence with a sledgehammer and then died after a group of adults pulled him down on Tuesday.
The Los Angeles County Medical Examiner’s office identified the man as 49-year-old John Thompson of Long Beach. His cause of death will require further examination, but authorities previously said he was pronounced dead after going into cardiac arrest at the school parking lot.
Thompson died during an incident that started when officers were called around 2:30 p.m. to a report of a home invasion robbery in the 6700 block of Orizaba Avenue. When the officers arrived, they were directed a few blocks away to McKinley Elementary School.
Thompson was wielding a sledgehammer, according to police, and had already climbed one fence around a campus parking lot where tried to climb a second fence to get onto school grounds. A group of adults saw him, pulled him down and detained him, the LBPD said.
At some point, Thompson became unresponsive. Upon realizing this, officers, who had handcuffed Thompson, rendered aid and called paramedics who determined he had died, police said.
The incident prompted a lockdown at McKinley, and though no students or teachers were harmed, it caused concerns for parents, who said they were left in the dark about what was going on while they waited to pick up their children.
Because Thompson was handcuffed at the time, police are investigating his passing as an in-custody death.