West Palm Beach, Florida
May 13, 2022
Cause of death: Shooting
Last updated: over 1 year ago
33-year-old Romen Phelps was shot and killed in West Palm Beach after police say he crashed through a school gate.
Investigators said 33-year-old Romen Phelps crashed a van through the main gates of Alexander W. Dreyfoos School of the Arts on Friday while class was in session. Students tell WPBF 25 News they were in fear for their lives and were forced to find places to hide during this incident.
Police said Phelps, a class of 2007 graduate of Dreyfoos School of the Arts, then drove through a breezeway, nearly hitting a staff member before crashing into a palm tree.
"The driver of that van immediately got out of the van and was acting erratically, running around the in-session campus,” said Mike Jachles, public information officer for the West Palm Beach Police Department.
After being confronted by a school resource officer and the principal, another off-duty West Palm Beach police officer arrived for backup. At that point, Phelps ran into the auditorium where there a struggle ensued.
Then, the off-duty officer shot and killed Phelps. No one else was hurt in the incident.
Jachles said he doesn’t know exactly what led to the shooting or whether Phelps had a weapon, but he said Phelps endangered everyone at the school and deadly force was the only option.