Sunday, October 1, 2023

Update: Lockdown lifted at Magruder Elementary

Magruder Elementary (WYDaily/Courtesy Google Maps)
Magruder Elementary School. (WYDaily/Courtesy Google Maps)

Update 3:22 p.m.:

Magruder Elementary School in York County was briefly locked down Monday after a man wanted on several warrants was spotted in the area.

Williamsburg Police were notified shortly after noon Monday that Rodney Nathaniel Johnson, 50, who is wanted for a number of crimes, was in the area of the school, said York-Poquoson Sheriff’s office spokeswoman Shelly Ward.

Johnson is wanted on charges aggravated assault by strangulation and felony assault in James City County, according to James City County Police website. In York County, Johnson is also wanted on charges of failing to appear in traffic court.

At 12:35 p.m. Monday, Williamsburg Police received a call that Johnson was seen at a hotel in the city, said Williamsburg police spokesman Maj. Greg Riley. Johnson ran away from the hotel when police arrived, Riley said.

Williamsburg officers pursued Johnson but lost him.

York-Poquoson deputies then spotted Johnson near an Auto Zone store on Merrimac Trail,  where Johnson then fled into a wooded area, Riley said Riley. A deputy pursued Johnson on foot in the area, which caused the school to initiate a modified lockdown.

“At that point it was so close to the school, they shut down just to be safe,” Riley said.

In addition to officers from Williamsburg and James City County police and deputies from the York-Poquoson Sheriff’s Office, others on the scene included officers from Virginia Conservation Police and canines from Newport News Police.

“At no point was there any direct danger to the school,” Ward said. “We just wanted to take safety precautions.”

The lockdown was lifted around 2:45 p.m.

Johnson’s whereabouts is still unknown. He is described is black, about 6-foot-8 and weighs about 270 pounds. Anyone with information about Johnson is asked to call the Crime Line at 1-888-LOCK-U-UP.

Update 2:45 p.m.: Magruder Elementary has been removed from a lockdown Monday afternoon.

The York-Poquoson Sheriff’s Office advised the York County School Division that the lockdown could be lifted around 2:20 p.m., according to a school division Facebook post. Police had been conducting an investigation in the area of the school.

Magruder has resumed normal operations.

Original Story: Magruder Elementary is in a modified lockdown Monday afternoon.

Magruder was placed on a modified lockdown because of a “law enforcement investigation” in the area of the school, according to a Facebook post around 1:30 p.m. from the York County School Division.

The decision to lock down the school was a precautionary measure, the post said.

A modified lockdown means instruction will continue in the classroom, but no one is allowed to enter or leave the school building.

Neither the school division nor police immediately responded to request for comment. The Facebook post did not indicate when the lockdown will be lifted.

This story will be updated as more information becomes available.

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