School officials investigate incident that left parents rattled

(Photo by Chelsea Edwards)
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KILLEEN, Texas (KWTX) School officials are investigating an incident in which two Killeen middle school students jumped into a truck with a man who treated them to chips, candy and drinks at a nearby convenience store after school.

The man, who was driving a gray pickup, pulled up as four 7th graders were leaving Rancier Middle School after tutorials Friday evening in Killeen.

They told their parents the man said he’d just gotten back from Korea and wanted to give back to the community, flashing lots of cash and producing a military ID.

The man, who was wearing a hooded sweatshirt decorated with a Korean flag, told the four students to meet him at the nearby convenience store where, he said, he would buy them whatever they wanted.

According to one parent, the students loaded up on big bags of chips, huge candy bars and drinks.

Afterward the stranger offered the students rides home, and the KISD says two of the four took him up on the offer.

"We don't know if there was any kind of violation of the law, that is still under investigation,” KISD spokesman Terry Abbott said Monday.

“But we're following leads and speaking to a number of local authorities who can help, and we just want to use this occasion to point out to parents and kids again, please tell your kids don't go off with strangers,” he said.

“This time nobody was hurt, next time might not be that lucky,” he said.

The four students were in class Monday.

It’s possible one of them snapped a photo of the man’s military ID.

Officials aren't sharing a lot of details, but did confirm KISD police are working with Fort Hood on the case.

During the fall semester, Killeen students were followed, shown money and even threatened by strangers in four separate incidents.

The district says so far, no arrests have been made in those cases.

However, officials want parents to talk to students of all ages about keeping away from strangers as they sort out the details of this latest incident.