Former Grissom High teacher arrested on menacing charge after threatening protesters with a gun
HUNTSVILLE, AL (WAFF) - Protesters at the "Families Belong Together" rally at Big Spring Park got a scare when a man brought out a gun.
The protestors were speaking out against recent events occurring at the U.S. and Mexico border.
During a prayer led by a Huntsville pastor, witnesses said Shane Ryan Sealy, a former Grissom High School teacher, began to violently, yell and threaten the rally's attendees.
A spokesperson with Huntsville City Schools said Sealy is no longer a teacher with the school system.
Sealy then pulled out a gun.
"At first he was just heckling, he had a sign, you know, 'deport everyone.' It wasn't an emergency at that point. But when he pulled out the gun things escalated really quickly," said Heather Resendez, co-organizer of the event.
Attendees fell to the ground in fear for their lives.
"Somebody yelled 'Gun!' I saw the gun, him holding the gun. I started screaming for people to get down," said Ava Caldwell, another co-organizer of the event.
"I saw him pull it out. He said 'I will shoot everybody here' so me and my people who were sitting the gazebo so we ran and laid down the in grass right here and we were yelling at people to get down, cause a lot of people over here didn't see this person, they didn't see he had a weapon," said Resendez.
"I got down on my face on the other side of the gazebo right here and just cried, I was so in shock," said Caldwell.
After police contained the situation, a ten year old girl was supposed to speak at the event. However, the young girl was so shaken she could not even recite her speech.
"She was too scared to stand up there now by herself, even with her mom next to her, so her mom read her little story," said Caldwell.
The rally continued after Sealy was arrested and taken away. Organizers refused to let the man or the incident deter them from protesting the recent events occurring at the U.S. and Mexico border.
"We weren't going to let something like that deter us," said Yalitza LaFontaine of the Alabama Coalition for Immigrant Justice.
"We have to put our bodies on the line, my job as someone with privilege I have to get and get this message. Because this is real," said Resendez.
The groups present at the rally included the NAACP, Faith in Action, Indivisible, and Joffrion Campaign.
Law codes from the Attorney General's office say: "Any person who, while fighting in the streets of any city or town, or at a militia muster, or at any public place, whether public in itself, or made public at the time by an assemblage of persons, uses or attempts to use, except in self-defense, any kind of firearms shall, on conviction, be fined not less than $200.00 nor more than $500.00, and may also be imprisoned in the county jail or sentenced to hard labor for the county for not less than six months."
Sealy was arrested on charges of menacing and booked into the Madison County Jail.
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