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UPDATE: Schools lockdown lifted

By Jared Felkins jfelkins@lebanondemocrat.com • Dec 17, 2015 at 6:25 PM

Wilson County Sheriff Robert Bryan lifted a “soft” lockdown Wednesday morning at four Lebanon schools after officers and deputies searched for a burglary suspect.

The lockdown was issued for Winfree Bryant Middle School, Lebanon High School, Byars Dowdy Elementary School and Immanuel Baptist Church preschool during a search for a burglary suspect Wednesday morning.

Lebanon police Chief Scott Bowen said the lockdown started just before 9 a.m. after a neighbor confronted the suspect during the apparent burglary on Meadowlane Drive. He said the suspect ran from the scene.

Police believe the suspect is unarmed.

Bryan said the “soft” lockdown was lifted at about 10:30 a.m., but police continue to search for the burglary suspect.

“A soft lockdown is pretty much where the doors are secured, no outside activities and extra patrols around the school,” Bryan said. “People can enter and exit the school, though.”

Bowen said the suspect could still be in the area around Keaton Street, which is between Byars Dowdy Elementary School and Immanuel Baptist Church. Lebanon High School and Winfree Bryant Middle School are less than ½ mile away.

Bowen said officers responded to a call of a burglary in progress at 823 Meadowlane Drive. He said the homeowner confronted a suspect inside his home holding the victim’s laptop.

According to Bowen, the homeowner and suspect got into an altercation inside the home. The suspect ran out of the house, got into his car and attempted to leave. A neighbor heard the commotion and came over to help.

“They blocked the suspect’s vehicle in the driveway and tried to hold him until police arrived,” Bowen said. “The suspect fled on foot before officers arrived.”

Bowen said the suspect’s jacket was recovered a block away from the house. Officers set up a perimeter and searched for the suspect in a large wooded area. Area schools were notified of the situation, which sent them on soft lockdown.

He said the homeowner’s laptop and the suspect’s vehicle were recovered at the scene.

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