UPDATED: 12:22 p.m.
Pulaski County schools on Facebook said that the system received word that the person being sought was located in another state. Though the shelter-in-place status had been lifted, the school system said extra police presence would remain throughout the afternoon.
Schools across the area were under extra security on Friday as police hunted for a North Carolinian.
Pulaski County Public Schools issued a Facebook post saying that they had been placed on shelter-in-place status, explaining that schools would operate as usual but faculty and staff would be on a higher state of alert and additional police would be on hand.
The post noted that school administrators were notified that a “person of interest” in a North Carolina police investigation could be traveling through the region. The school system in Pulaski said that the status change was precautionary and noted that there is no reason to believe the person being sought would turn up in schools.
Wythe County school Superintendent Scott Jefferies said that the schools were on lockdown at the request of Virginia State Police and did not provide any further details.
Dr. Dennis Carter, Smyth County schools superintendent, said the system was on a soft lockdown due to a threat out of North Carolina that wasn’t specific to the county. Also noting that the request came from the Virginia State Police, Carter said, “We are doing this just in being ultra precautious.” A soft lockdown means that mobility outside of the schools is limited, but classes go on.
Wytheville Community College cancelled afternoon classes on Friday and instituted a shelter-in-place lockdown, according to officials.
The college said the lockdown was a precaution due to an ongoing manhunt for a fugitive.
Mount Airy News was reporting on Friday that a man in Forsyth County, North Carolina, said he planned to “shoot up” schools. Schools in Surry County, North Carolina, the newspaper said, were put on alert at 10:30 a.m.