Man hunting squirrels on private property near Midway Elementary prompted lockdown

akflanagan@thestate.comMarch 12, 2014 

— Midway Elementary in Lexington is no longer on lockdown after deputies determined a man hunting squirrels on private property near the school posed no threat.

The Sheriff’s Department asked administrators to place the school on lockdown as a precaution around 9:25 a.m., Lexington County Sheriff’s Department Spokesman Maj. John Allard said.

“A bus driver saw a man in the woods on private property near the school and reported that he was armed with a rifle or shotgun,” Maj. Allard said.

Deputies determined the armed man seen in the woods was lawfully hunting squirrels with a shotgun on his private property and took no actions that posed a threat to anyone at the elementary school, Maj. Allard said.

Maj. Allard said the man shot and killed two squirrels.

The school was on lockdown for about three hours.

Prior to finding the man in question, Maj. Allard said deputies conducted directed patrols near the school as a precaution.

In addition, one deputy remained stationed at the school for the rest of the school day.

About 10:50 a.m., Principal Jan Fickling emailed parents about the lockdown.

“There are no concerns here on campus, and normal activties are taking place except for those outside,” Midway Elementary School Principal Jan Fickling said. “We are under a perimeter lockdown only as requested by the Lexington County Sheriff’s Department.”

Principal Fickling sent a second email around 12:30 p.m. to let parents know the lockdown had been lifted.

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