A man wielding a knife allegedly threatened to kill staff at an Islamic school in south-west Sydney this afternoon.
The 20-25 year old man entered Al-Faisal College in Minto, New South Wales at approximately 2.10pm and then fled soon after speaking with a female staff member, according to police.
A parent whose four children attend the school told The New Daily the man threatened to kill the the female teacher with a “forearm-length knife”.
The man allegedly asked the teacher if the school was Islamic and then produced the knife when she confirmed it was, said the parent, who declined to be named.
“When the teacher replied ‘yes’ he produced a knife that was like a forearm-length long… and proceeded to threaten to kill them.”
The man repeated the threats inside the school, the parent said.
— Nine News Sydney (@9NewsSyd) September 25, 2014
Staff reportedly shut a gate preventing the armed assailant from further access to the school, after which he ran away, the parent said.
The man is described by police as being of Pacific Islander appearance, 20-25 years old and with an obese build.
At the time of the incident he was wearing brown/khaki pants and a green shirt.
Officers from Macquarie Fields Local Area Command attended shortly after the man left the scene, and are still trying to locate him.
School in lockdown
Primary school students hid under their desks while those from the high school were gathered in a prayer hall as the school went into lockdown, said one mother who did not wish to be named.
“I am still pretty much in shock,” the mother told AAP.
“I am keeping my younger two [children] home tomorrow, one doesn’t want to go back there.”
Although most schools are on holidays, classes finish on Friday and students get an extra week’s holidays later in the year, she said.
Mariam Veiszadeh, spokesperson for Islamophobia Register Australia, said parents were left distressed.
“[They] arrived at the school earlier today and found it surrounded by police officers and the SWAT team,” Ms Veiszadeh said in a statement.
Police say the man was last seen in Kitson Road, Minto.
Officers searched the area but couldn’t find the man, described as being an obese 20 to 25-year-old of Pacific Islander appearance.
He was wearing brown khaki pants and a green shirt.
Anyone with information is asked to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.