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Woman arrested outside Las Vegas school wielding a pickax

A 33-year-old woman was arrested Tuesday by North Las Vegas police after neighbors reported her attempting to climb the fence of an elementary school while yelling threats and wielding a pickax.

Police identified the woman as Kisstal Killough and said she never made it onto the grounds of Tom Williams Elementary School in North Las Vegas.

Eric Leavitt, spokesman for the North Las Vegas Police Department, said Killough surrendered to officers quickly after they arrived on the scene. He said the incident happened so fast, the school had barely begun lockdown procedures at the time of the arrest. He said officers arrived at the school “about a minute” after the calls came in reporting the incident.

“It was at the beginning of the lunch hour and quite a few students were out,” Leavitt said.

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Leavitt said Killough was arrested on suspicion of assault with a deadly weapon, trespassing, public nuisance and loitering around a school campus. She was booked into the city jail.

The arrest came amid heightened fears after the mass shooting in Parkland, Fla., where 17 students and educators were gunned down Feb. 14. It also came a few months after the mass shooting in Las Vegas, where 58 were killed and hundreds wounded at the Route 91 Harvest country music festival.

Nerves have been frayed in Las Vegas since the Oct. 1 tragedy, and the Clark County School District — like others nationwide — has had its share of threats in the wake of shootings.

Last week, Clark County School District police arrested a 16-year-old male student for threatening to shoot up a high school, and a 14-year-old was arrested for making an unspecified threat to a middle school.

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The shooting Feb. 14 at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Florida also prompted students from Silverado High School outside Las Vegas to walk out of their classes last week in protest of gun violence on campuses. A national walkout is scheduled for March 14, though Clark County School District officials have discouraged students from leaving classes that day.

Police said they didn’t have a motive for why the woman allegedly tried to scale the fence at Tom Williams Elementary School. Leavitt said she didn’t have a criminal record, but “the suspect was impaired and appeared to have mental health issues.”

After the arrest, KTNV reported that the school principal sent a letter to parents to tell them the would-be intruder hadn’t harmed anyone and never got onto the campus.

The school has about 1,000 students.

david.montero@latimes.com

Twitter: @davemontero


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