4:28 p.m. update
BLADENSBURG — The unidentified man at the East Knox Elementary School this morning was a worker contracted by the school to test the building’s water, Steve Larcomb, school superintendent told the News.
The man was seen on surveillance video in a classroom and the boiler room. Larcomb confirmed there are some classrooms with water supply.
He said the school will change its policy and require workers to check in with the office personnel regardless of when they are in the buildings.
The school was put on lockdown this morning after a cook saw the man and he was seen on surveillance. Law enforcement conducted a room-by-room search and found no evidence or the man. Classes were canceled and parents were permitted to pick up their children until 11 a.m., at which time the remaining students were transported to the middle school.
3:35 p.m. update
Anyone with information is asked to contact the Knox County Sheriff’s Office 740-397-3333
12:00 p.m. update
By Alan Reed
BLADENSBURG — East Knox Elementary School in Bladensburg remains closed this afternoon after an unidentified male was seen in the building just after 7 a.m.
A cafeteria cook reportedly saw a male individual and reported it to the school secretary. The man was scene on video surveillance video and district superintendent Steve Larcomb ordered the school to be placed under lockdown.
Law enforcement from the Knox County Sheriff’s Office, the Ohio State Highway Patrol, the Coshocton County Sheriff’s Office and Danville Police Department responded to the school and conducted a room-by-room search. K-9 units from the Danville PD and the KCSO were also utilized in the search.
It was not known who the suspect is or why he was there. Larcomb said he believed this person was no longer in the building after a thorough building search was conducted. He also stated there was no evidence the man in the building had a weapon.
Knox County Sheriff Dave Shaffer told the News surveillance video confirmed the man entered a classroom and the boiler room.
Parents were alerted to the issue by robo-calls this morning. The first stated the school was locked down because an unknown male was in the building, but the children were safe and secured, and could be picked up. The second call stated the school was closed for the day and parents could pick their children up at Bladensburg until 11 a.m., or at the Middle School where students were transported.
Neighborhood parent Sarah Carson said she heard yelling from across the street that the building was on lockdown. Upon approaching the school, she was told that no one was being permitted to enter the building.
Cassie Colbert told the News she received a phone message from the district’s messaging system alerting her that the building was locked and that all students could be picked up at the school parking lot. Upon arrival at the school, staff members were coordinating a signout procedure of all students who had already arrived.
Danville PD officer Dan Weckesser told the News that the dogs found no definitive evidence, but the dogs were a little suspicious near a rear entry door of the building.
“We have secured the building,” said Larcomb.
The elementary school was closed for the day and all district staff and security left the premises at 11 a.m. Larcomb said the building will continue to be monitored and the situation will be assessed through the superintendent’s office.
11:28 a.m. update
By SAMANTHA SCOLES
News Managing Editor
BLADENSBURG — Classes were canceled at East Knox Elementary School this morning after parents were alerted there was an unidentified male in the building.
According to a parent that spoke to the News this morning, she was alerted there was a situation at the school when she received a robo-call stating there was an unidentified male in the building, but the children were safe. A second call alerted parents that classes were canceled.
Children can be picked up at the Bladensburg school until 11 a.m. today. After that time, they will be taken to the Howard campus where they will be fed lunch. Parents can pick their children up there or the children can ride the bus home as usual.
The building has been evacuated of all teachers and staff. Law enforcement is making a room-by-room sweep of the building.
No information has been released from the district or the Knox County Sheriff’s Office as of 10:15 this morning.
The News has a reporter and photographer on the scene and will report details as they are released.
East Knox Elementary building in Bladensburg is on lockdown this morning. No official details have been released but will be updated as we get them.