- Steve Burns The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
A person with a gun entered Martin Luther King High School in Lithonia Wednesday, prompting a lockdown that sent some students racing into closets for safety.
It was not clear why the person, described by King High principal Ennis C. Harvey as a male “non-student,” had the weapon or if the individual had a license to carry.
While DeKalb police spokeswoman Shiera Campbell told Channel 2 Action News there was no “ill intent,” Georgia law bans any person — including those with licenses to carry — from bringing a gun on school property.
The person and a male student were taken into custody, and the school was placed on lockdown as a precaution while officials searched the building, Harvey said in a letter to parents obtained by The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
Police initially described the armed individual as a parent, but DeKalb schools spokeswoman Eileen Houston-Stewart disputed that.
“No parents were involved,” she said.
A King High student sought refuge in a closet at one point during the lockdown, the student’s parent said in an email to The AJC.
The gun scare was one of two incidents on the Snapfinger Road campus, Harvey said.
Following a chase, four other people were arrested after police responded to a report of a stolen vehicle in the school’s parking lot.
“The theft occurred off school premises,” Harvey said. “Police tracked the vehicle using the car’s onboard system.”
Operations returned to normal just about 11:30 a.m., when the lockdown was lifted.
“It is calm in the building and students are in class,” Houston-Stewart said.
In his letter to parents, Harvey said “providing a safe and secure learning environment is of top priority” at the school.
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