AUSTIN (KXAN) — A man was arrested Wednesday night after he tried entering a northwest Austin daycare while armed with a handgun Tuesday evening, according to an affidavit.
An arrest warrant was issued for Aaron Whitfield, 26, for unlawful carrying of a weapon in prohibited places after police said he tried to go into Primrose School of Four Points with a gun on Tuesday.
Surveillance video showed Whitfield arrive at the school’s parking lot at 6:45 p.m. Tuesday and walk toward the entrance with what appeared to be a gun in his left hand, the affidavit said. After several seconds, he was seen walking back toward his vehicle with the gun and then leaving.
The school was closed during the time this happened.
Witness statements and surveillance footage helped police identify Whitfield, whose vehicle is registered under an address of an apartment complex across the street from the school.
Whitfield was arrested and booked into the Travis County Jail at about 8 p.m. Wednesday.
On Friday, the Travis County District Attorney’s Office said it appeared at Whitfield’s magistration hearing where his bond was set at $530,000.
“Under Travis County and City of Austin magistration rules, the Travis County District Attorney’s Office and the defendant’s counsel do not participate in the setting for bail; however, due to the circumstances, our office sought the opportunity to be present to prevent future danger,” the office said in a statement.
At the hearing, Whitfield was formally charged with unlawful carrying of a weapon in a prohibited place, terroristic threat and disorderly conduct.
Officials with the DA’s office said if he could post bond, the judge ordered further restrictions, which included that he must not possess any firearms.
“Our office takes incredibly seriously any threats made to our schools here in Travis County,” said Travis County District Attorney José Garza. “In this case, we thank the fast response from the DPS Troopers and judge for doing what is in the best interest of the public safety of our community.”
Primrose School of Four Points operates year-round and serves infants through kindergarten-age children. It also provides afterschool and summer camp programs for school-age children.
Carmon Cheng, the franchise owner, released a statement about the incident.
On Tuesday evening after the school was closed, our security cameras captured footage of an armed male attempting to gain entry into the school before returning to his vehicle and driving away. Upon learning of the incident, we immediately contacted the Austin Police Department and cooperated with their efforts to help identify this individual, who is now in custody.
At Primrose School of Four Points, ensuring the safety and security of our teachers, staff, and the children entrusted to our care remains our highest priority. Foundational to this is our Safe School Plan, which ensures our teachers and staff are prepared to respond in a broad range of emergency situations.
We are grateful for the quick actions of our teachers and staff who followed our Safe School Plan, as well as the actions of the Austin Police Department and Department of Public Safety. We are continuing to cooperate with local authorities to maintain the safety and security of our school.
Carmon Cheng, Franchise Owner
Primrose School of Four Points