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Ogden school employee thwarts kidnapping by pulling gun on suspect, police say

Ogden police

(Scott G Winterton, Deseret News)



OGDEN — An armed school employee thwarted a kidnapping Tuesday after he confronted a man on a playground with his gun, according to police.

The situation started about 2:30 p.m. at an unidentified elementary school in Ogden.

Ira Cox-Berry, 41, approached and grabbed a student, an 11-year-old girl, who was playing on the playground, police said. Cox-Berry allegedly pulled the girl away as if he was trying to leave with her, but a school employee approached Cox-Berry and demanded that he leave the school.

Cox-Berry briefly let go of the girl, and the employee was able to get the children who were also nearby into a classroom, according to a police affidavit. Police say there were 19 other children nearby at the time.

Cox-Berry then approached the building and started punching a window in an apparent attempt to get inside, police said. The employee then produced a firearm and held off the man while calling 911.

Officers arrived shortly after and took Cox-Berry into custody after a short struggle, according to a statement from Ogden police.

The school employee, who was not identified, has a concealed carry permit and was lawfully in possession of the gun when the incident took place, police said.

Investigators said they haven't discovered any link between Cox-Berry and the girl. He was booked into the Weber County Jail Tuesday for investigation of child kidnapping.

Police are still investigating the incident and didn't release any other details Wednesday.

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