Jones Wheat Elementary modified lockdown lifted, search for armed suspect comes to an end

Published 2:22 pm Wednesday, October 26, 2022

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Decatur County Sheriff’s Office has a man in custody this afternoon following a search that lasted since the early morning hours. At approximately 2 am, officers responded to a call regarding a violent domestic incident involving a firearm; upon the arrival of law enforcement, the suspect fled. According to Chief Deputy Major Wendell Cofer, the victim was secured, and DCSO proceeded to search for the suspect.

As school hours approached, with the suspect remaining at large in a search area that included Jones Wheat Elementary School, DCSO decided to notify Decatur County Schools Police and Superintendent Tim Cochran of the ongoing situation. “We were very grateful for the rapid responses of all involved, and even though there was no immediate threat to the school we decided to act with an abundance of caution and notify them of the search,” Major Cofer said.

The school was placed on a modified lockdown in which students can move freely about the interior, but outdoor recesses are restricted. Cochran was grateful for Decatur County Schools’ excellent relationship with law enforcement and said the response was standard procedure in such instances. Cochran said, “There was no immediate threat to the school or the children, we just always err on the side of caution.” The lockdown was lifted earlier today.

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The suspect was taken into custody by Captain Elijah McCoy this afternoon.