October 25, 2014


Nerf gun battle at Open Door generates police response

ELYRIA – When the Elyria Police Department received a call that shots had been fired at the Open Door Christian School and Church in Elyria on Wednesday, it responded with every available unit.

What police found was a Nerf gun fight.

Elyria police, Lorain County sheriff’s deputies, Elyria firefighters and Lorain County Metro Park rangers rushed to Open Door, 43275 Telegraph Road, around 1 p.m. Wednesday after getting a call from a concerned relative.

Upon arriving, police were met with surprise and confusion, said Elyria police Capt. Christopher Costantino, and nothing seemed wrong with the school or church when they arrived.

“People were shocked that we were there,” said Costantino, adding that police had only received one call about the shooting.

However, police immediately put the school in lockdown and set up a perimeter around both the school and the church, according to head of schools Denver Daniel.

After 15 minutes of lockdown, police were able to clear the area and let the first day of school resume.

Police said that the confusion was caused by a text sent from a staff member at the church to her daughter, saying that someone shot at her office in a play Nerf gun fight. The daughter, misinterpreting the text, called police to report a shooting at Open Door.

Though the incident ended up as a false alarm, it struck a chord with staff at the school and church.

“I was very impressed with the quick response by police,” Daniel said.

He added that the Nerf gun fight didn’t even take place in the school, but rather in the church section on the other end of the building.

Contact Anna Merriman at 329-7245 or amerriman@chroniclet.com.


  • Becky Denson Byrd

    Doesn’t make sense as to why there would be any type of guns, nerf, water or otherwise at the school! Public schools make it perfectly clear that toy guns are not tolerated and will be confiscated immediately!

    • Common Sense

      Well, for one, Open Door Christian School and Church of the Open Door, though housed in the same building, are actually separate entities. Two, the incident took place in the church wing, not the school, as the article stated. Three, Open Door is a private school, not a public school. Please check your facts before commenting.

    • Marie Gonda

      Isn’t that a shame how we cannot let kids be kids. I completely understand the terror we feel about what is going on in our schools, horrible. But toy guns are not the problem, never have been. The problem is this decay of expected good behavior, taking responsibility, and having respect for others and their lives and property is the problem. In our home, like many in my generation, and certainly in generations before, little kids played with toy guns, and they played house too (guess that caused early pregnancies). But we were taught to respect others, take responsibility for bad behavior, to not point fingers or talk about how it isn’t our fault it was the teacher, other kid, the parents, or the policeman’s fault.
      Nerf guns are fun and funny to play with. Kids love them. I am assuming that is why they had them. I can only imagine the laughing and playing that was going on .

  • interesting differences

    How many shootings have happened at private schools??? I cannot think of one there tends to be a different mentality of child there and when parents pay upwards of 3K for a semester of school the kids are much more well behaved and the parents do not tolerate crap from kids.. Also the schools can punt the undesirables and ma and pa’s money is gone… Good incentive to keep the kid straight… I’m glad private schools are not like public may be hope for some of the kids…

    • Tom

      yes and damn those public school brats whose parents can’t afford public schooling…

    • Andrew Burd

      “punt the undesirables”

      great mentality.

  • JoshuaPatterson

    This is so embarrassing, when are we going to let kids be kids…

    • Christopher L Banacka

      re-read the story.
      The mother told her daughter that shot at her room with a nerf gun, the daughter missread the message and called 911.

      • Carrie Watson

        The daughter needs to be charged with something then. It may have been an honest mistake, but it’s still misuse of a public service. And now the stupidity of a few is going to ruin it for many others. Seems like a pattern to me :-(

        • Marie Gonda

          I don’t think the answer is to charge anyone with anything… Our kids live in such a frightening world where they are in a higher sense of awareness than we ever had to be. Better safe than sorry.

          • thematrixkid17

            A frightening world where murder is at a 20 year low?

            More like a frightening world where people watch too much TV, with helicopter parents abound.

          • Marie Gonda

            Not sure where you got your stats, but I do wonder what the Stats are for crimes against children and crimes at schools. When I was in school a fist fight was big news in the school. I am not saying it is not that way now but I don’t ever recall being nervous about someone bringing a gun. As for helicopter parenting, I personally have never been called that, I have had 6 kids and now 4 grandchildren, but I do know what you mean, I believe that is not a good thing to do either. However, since we are talking about a particular situation here, the daughter called her parents because if what she thought she had seen. That is a good thing and that was my point about being better safe than sorry. Usually intuition is good. Just think of lives that might be saved if more people would act in instinct.

          • thematrixkid17

            My data on crime comes from both CDC, FBI, and DOJ data. You can look up the facts on crime statistics on their websites. Also, DOJ studies show that school crime is also on the decline, as well as crime overall in the US. Here’s a nice NPR article about it: http://www.npr.org/2012/03/16/148758783/violence-in-schools-how-big-a-problem-is-it

  • Jason M. Schmidt

    eh…good practice

  • http://comradealan.com/ Alan Pugh

    The only good news to come out of this is that the students weren’t charged with crimes. Seriously, I understand the room for misinterpretation, but we also need to realize that a vast majority of the school shootings happened after we “cracked down” on things like Nerf guns. Maybe the fact that kids can’t be freaking kids anymore has something to do with the violence.

    I have my Hail-Fire and Stampede ECS here if anyone wants to have a Nerf gun fight in Ely Square or some other public place. :)

  • Scott

    Absolute classic best first day of school ever in ODCS history! I’m proud of my alma mater. This is one for the history books.