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Authorities unsuccessful in search for armed man near schools

Posted November 7, 2011

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— Two elementary schools and the north Raleigh campus of Wake Technical Community College were locked down for more than two hours Monday morning after a man carrying a rifle was spotted near one of the schools.

Police said someone saw an armed man in camouflage clothing in a wooded area near Riverbend Elementary School, at 6710 Perry Creek Road, shortly after 9 a.m. Wake County school officials immediately placed Riverbend Elementary and Fox Road Elementary, at 7101 Fox Road, on Code Yellow lockdown, meaning exterior doors were locked but classes continued on a normal schedule inside.

Wake Tech and the school district's Early College Program on the Wake Tech campus, off U.S. Highway 401 and Fox Road, were also locked down. Police diverted students arriving for class away from campus to keep the number of people outside classroom buildings to a minimum.

"Someone came in our room and said, 'This isn't a warning or practice. This is serious. Lock your doors,'" Wake Tech student Lauren White said. "It was nerve-wracking. We had no idea what was going on or what to expect."

About 5,000 students attend classes at Wake Tech's north Raleigh campus, and about 200 faculty and staff work there.

"You hope that it is a monumental overreaction. You'd much rather have that than have a real situation," Wake Tech instructor Todd Lovett said.

"I much rather not have to go to class then have to worry about some dude shooting me," student Andrew Goldsmith said.

Wake Tech lockdown Armed man puts Wake Tech, two schools on lockdown

Raleigh police officers, Wake County deputies, troopers with the North Carolina State Highway Patrol and agents with the state Wildlife Resources Commission searched the area but couldn't find the man. No other sightings were reported.

"It's just a hunter. Someone who was hunting deer across the road just walked on there," Wake Tech student Jake Gay said, echoing the speculation of many people who waited out the lockdown.

Fox Road Elementary returned to normal operations at about 11:15 a.m., officials said, and the lockdowns were lifted at Wake Tech and Riverbend Elementary at about 11:30 a.m.

North Carolina has no regulations prohibiting hunting near schools in unincorporated areas of counties, state wildlife officer Brent Ward said. A hunter needs only get permission from the landowner, he said.

The only exception involved target shooting, which must be done at least 100 yards from an occupied building, Ward said.

Raleigh police said they planned to maintain extra patrols near the schools for the rest of the day.

165 Comments

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  • ksola Nov 8, 12:32 p.m.

    @ dave521: Appology accepted!

  • dave521 Nov 8, 11:23 a.m.

    @ksola: I would like to appologize for incorrectly believing you were the person being searched for and for incorrectly stating that you were arrested. From what I saw that appeared to be the case, but clearly I was wrong. With the number of guns drawn and aimed in front of my house I did stop watching to move my family to the back of the house for their safety and assumed you had been arrested. Again, I was wrong and I appologize.

    The purpose of my post was not to criticize hunting. I was trying to point out that it appeared to be an irresponsible hunter rather than a crazed gunman stalking the schools like the news article initially suggested. I have no problem with legal hunting and fully support the right to own guns and the freedom to hunt. I only have a problem with those who use guns irresponsibly without regard to the safety of others as it gives all hunters a bad name and damages the reputation of all those who use guns responsibly.

  • ksola Nov 8, 9:57 a.m.

    @ sowhat: It was not on the abc11 website. It was posted here. I was the man who wrote it.
    @buford: Yes, it seems that he is a bit of an exagerator. I did not have a rifle on my ATV rack but a shotgun. I've been hunting for 30 years, and as an ex U.S. Paratrooper I'm very aquainted with ballistics. Whenever my son and I hunt even remotely near human habitats we only use buckshot in our shotguns which has a very short range therefore making it the safest firearm ammunition to use near developed areas. Once the deputies saw the shotgun, as well as my obvious orange hat nowhere near the reported gunman's last sighting I was released with an appology, and later called to help the Raleigh P.D. to guide them through the area. Not the first time. 2 years ago while hunting in the same woods, my son and I stumbled into a truck that was attempting to retrieve 2 stolen dirt bikes they had stashed in the woods. Once again I was thanked by a deputy for being a good citizen, not a boogey man!

  • Red Green Nov 8, 9:48 a.m.

    "LOL!! Have you ever shot a squirrel with a rifle?" - ellensburgwildcat

    Yeah. 22 LR.

  • Red Green Nov 8, 9:36 a.m.

    "Anyone who thinks it was perfectly acceptable for this "hunter" to prowl around schools with a gun, needs some serious counciling. You shouldnt have to be told that it is completely inappropriate to hunt near populated areas and playgrounds. I dont care what you THINK your rights are." - shortcake53

    This was an incident blown out of proportion not by the hunter but by the public. Why don't you find out what the percentage (if any) of injuries at school due to accidental shootings by hunters. You may also enlighten yourself by reviewing the law to see whether they “think” it’s their right, or that they “know” it’s their right. As to what you care about it’s obvious you don’t care and that’s why there are laws governing these activities regardless of whether you care or not. Also, with your callous disregard for others rights you would do well to expect the same attitude towards you.

  • Backpacker Nov 8, 9:32 a.m.

    "So I guess dave521 is a bit of an "exaggerator"...." - buford

    That's an understatement.

  • buford Nov 8, 8:45 a.m.

    So I guess dave521 is a bit of an "exaggerator"....

  • Backpacker Nov 8, 8:18 a.m.

    ”I dunno maybe the whole stray bullet hitting a small child thing.... no it's not the law but how would you feel if your kid was shot while playing on the playground at school?” - mmtlash

    Give me a break. How would you feel if your child suffered any injury? Should we just stop doing everything because of the potential of injury or death? This is YOUR agenda and doesn’t happen to be everybody ELSE'S agenda. Do you use a cell phone while you drive? There is a greater potential of being injured or killed due to inattentive drivers using cell phones. I have three grown children that went through school with hunting going on in close proximity to their schools and there never was ANY incident in all the years they were in school. I here about 100 percent more reports of sports related injuries and deaths. Maybe children shouldn’t be allowed to participate in sport anymore. You shouldn’t be able to strip away peoples rights just for the ILLUSION of protecting children from everyt

  • sowhat Nov 7, 7:41 p.m.

    Saw this comment on abc11 website:
    "To set the record straight for dave521. I was the man stopped in front of your house,so we must live in the same neighborhood. Yes I was going hunting by the river, not anywhere near the schools. My son also attends Riverbend elementary. I was checked and clear by the officers as not being the man they were looking for. I received an apology from the deputies, and later commended by them as I was asked to assist them in their manhunt since I'm familiar with the area. By the way, I was not wrestled to the ground. Also, the area that the "armed suspect" was spotted is NOT the area I hunt. I know better than to hunt next to a school campus. Please get your facts straight, and by the way, I am legally lisenced to hunt, and season is open!!"

  • Glock Ranger Nov 7, 7:37 p.m.

    Let's ban schools!!

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