Man accused of holding Chelsea Middle Students at gunpoint is go - ABC 33/40 - Birmingham News, Weather, Sports

Man accused of holding Chelsea Middle Students at gunpoint is going to mental institution

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A man accused of holding 5 Chelsea Middle School students at gunpoint in a locker room will be committed to a mental facility. A Shelby County Judge has declared 22-year-old Ryan Sims not guilty by reason of mental disease or defect.

Ryan Sims attorney says Sims will be going to Taylor Hardin Secure Medical Facility in Tuscaloosa. He will remain there until a judge approves his release.
It was part of a deal reached with the judge after a court order evaluation diagnosed him with paranoid schizophrenia.

Hannah Harris "We knew we had to get to the nearest classroom." It was February 2013 when the Shelby County Sheriff's Office says Ryan Sims went inside Chelsea Middle School armed with a handgun and threatened teachers and students.

Sims was a former part time school employee. Authorities say he held 5 girls at a gunpoint in a locker room. We spoke to the father of one the girls after it happened. Tracy Dale Greene says, "The guy was waiving the gun, basically pointed it at them, and was also waiving it over their heads."

A Shelby County deputy and principal talked him into releasing the students. No one was hurt. Sims was charged with five counts of kidnapping and making a terrorist threat. The standoff at Chelsea Middle in February and the Sandy Hook shootings were the starting points for added security across many Central Alabama districts.

During his preliminary hearing last year the defense told the judge Sims is a paranoid schizophrenic and said proper treatment can only be given if he's under house arrest.

Recent court documents showed that an expert witness said that Sims was suffering from severe mental disease at the time of the incident.

Sims attorney says the school incident was unfortunate, but he hopes Sims will be able to eventually be released after getting the treatment he needs. We could not reach the District Attorney for a comment.

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