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Two Cabell schools briefly placed on lockdown

Nov. 14, 2013 @ 12:00 AM

HUNTINGTON --The campus of Southside Elementary and Huntington Middle schools briefly were placed on lockdown Wednesday morning while Huntington Police officers pursued a man wanted in connection with a burglary in the area.

The campus in the 900 block of 3rd Street went on lockdown about 11:20 a.m. Wednesday after police received a report of an attempted burglary at a home in the 900 block of 4th Street.

Huntington Police arrested Christopher Ray, 22, of Huntington, after he attempted to force entry into a woman's home while she was there Wednesday morning, an officer said in a criminal complaint filed in Cabell County Magistrate Court.

Ray fled the scene, and he was located a short time later hiding behind trash bins on the schools' property, according to the complaint. The lockdown was lifted at 11:55 a.m.

Ray was charged with two counts of felony burglary. The second burglary count stemmed from an incident that took place near the intersection of 9th Avenue and 1st Street West on Wednesday morning, prior to the incident near the school.

Approximately $3,000 in stolen property was recovered in a backpack Ray had in his possession, the officer said in the complaint.

The officer also said a knife was recovered at the home in the 900 block of 4th Street, but there was no indication whether Ray had any weapons in his possession while he was on school property.

The campus of the two schools was placed on lockdown after Huntington Police alerted school officials to the situation, said Jedd Flowers, director of communications for Cabell County Schools.

Flowers said all schools in Cabell County operate under a modified lockdown status every day, keeping all doors and windows locked and using an intercom system to grant entrance into buildings. However, any time that principals, school officials or law enforcement agencies feel there is a direct threat to students, they can place the schools on complete lockdown.

"It's scary that these things happen, but that is why it is important for us to have a good relationship with law enforcement agencies and first responders," Flowers said. "That relationship paid off today. We think it is a very prudent action on the part of the police force to have put the school on lockdown, and we're thankful they are being so diligent to let us know when there are threats in the community."

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