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Lockdown lifted following search

John Willoughby
Greene Publishing, Inc.

Upon being notified of an unknown person peeking through a window at a local school on Tuesday, May 14, Madison County Central School (MCCS) was placed on lockdown while Madison County Sheriff's Office (MCSO) deputies conducted a thorough search and investigation.

According to MCSO Major David Harper, at approximately 11:55 a.m., School Resource Officer Sergeant Joey Knight was on duty at MCCS, when he was notified by staff that students reported seeing a black male, dressed in black clothing, looking into the window of a classroom from the outside of the building. Witnesses reported that the unknown male subject ran across the west parking lot toward the woods.

Sgt. Knight responded to the sighting within one minute, while dispatching other deputies for assistance. The school administration initiated lockdown protocol and multiple deputies were on campus within minutes, where a canine deputy was immediately deployed while the schools and the outer campus was thoroughly searched.

After a short time, the buildings and campus were cleared of any immediate threat and the interior lockdown was lifted. Several deputies remained on campus as additional canine units were requested from Madison Correctional Institution, as well as Hamilton Correctional Institution, to assist in searching the woods. The entire perimeter of the school campus was searched with multiple tracking canines. No evidence of anyone was located.

"I am extremely proud of the students who reported what they witnessed and of the appropriate and immediate action taken by the school staff to ensure the safety of our children," said Harper.

If you have any information regarding this incident, you are asked to call Madison County Sheriff's Office at (850) 973-4001, ext. 1.

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