Harrisburg School District locked down after report of gun on campus

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HARRISBURG, Ark. – A situation at the Harrisburg School District prompted a lockdown on campus Tuesday morning while authorities looked for a student thought to have brought a gun to campus, authorities told NEA Report. He was in custody as of 12 PM.

The lockdown was first confirmed to a reporter by Second Judicial District Prosecuting Attorney Scott Ellington. A student was believed to have brought a gun to school.

The school resource officer was in the process of making contact with the student and the student fled from the campus, according to information provided to Ellignton. Authorities were in search of the student as of 11:50 AM.

The student is believed to be a 9th grader. He is off school property and the campus was on lockdown to prevent him from coming back on campus

Harrisburg School District posted this update to their Facebook page:

The Harrisburg School District received a report this morning that a student tried to sell a gun on Snapchat to another student. The District sent its SRO to the school to search the student for a weapon. Prior to being searched, the student fled the school campus. Law enforcement is currently pursuing the student, and all school campuses are now in lockdown. Please do not come onto campus at this time. We will provide updates as soon as possible.

At 12:00 NOON, NEA Report received an update from Ellington that the student was in custody.

At 12:15 PM, Attorney Rebecca Worsham, representing the district, sent the following statement to NEA Report:

Law enforcement has the student in custody. The student ditched the weapon while he was being pursued by law enforcement. The weapon has now been located and in possession of law enforcement. The district will remain on lockdown until law enforcement has cleared the area. No staff or students were injured in this incident.

A middle school student had an unrelated medical issue and paramedics were called.

An update shared by Worsham on behalf of the school at 2 PM read as follows:

I can confirm that the district is not searching for any other students or weapons on or off of campus. Law enforcement is in the process of conducting follow-up interviews with a few students who may have additional information concerning this incident. At this time, no other Harrisburg students are believed to have been involved in this matter.

At 3:47 PM on Tuesday, Sheriff Kevin Molder with the Poinsett County Sheriff’s Department sent out the following press release:

On February 11, 2020, School Resource Officer Jesse Willey with the Harrisburg Police Department contacted the Poinsett County Dispatch Center and said he was in foot pursuit with a juvenile male student. He further stated the juvenile was armed. At that time, deputies with the Poinsett County Sheriff’s Office, officers with the Harrisburg Police Department, Trumann Police Department, and Arkansas State Police were advised of the situation and arrived at the school within minutes of being dispatched. While the school was on lockdown and within minutes of arriving, a perimeter was set up to restrict the juvenile from re-entering. Deputies and Officers were also sent inside to make sure there were no other threats inside.

At approximately 11:50 am, the student was located by deputies and officers in the backyard of a residence on the West side of the school. He was immediately taken into custody without incident. A handgun was recovered a short distance from where the juvenile was apprehended.

The school remained on lockdown with a heavy police presence until approximately 1:15 pm so a threat assessment could be conducted. It was determined by law enforcement and the school administration that there was no longer an immediate threat to the students, faculty, and staff before the lockdown was lifted.

We are currently investigating this incident with every resource at our disposal. Updates will be given as more information becomes available.

I would like to thank the Trumann Police Department and the patrol division of the Arkansas State Police for their quick response to assist us. I would also like to thank all the agencies who offered their assistance. We are blessed to be surrounded by law enforcement agencies who are willing to assist us when needed.

Sheriff Kevin Molder

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