Elk Point Students Safe After Lockdown
by Rachel Skytta, Reporter
September 18, 2013 5:05 PM
The students of Elk Point Jefferson School are safe after a lockdown was enforced Wednesday morning.
Elk Point Jefferson Superintendent Brian Shanks received a call from the Sheriff's department around 8:45 AM.
"All we were told is there was somebody suspected of arson. And that there was some issues with this person and they thought the best idea was for us to lockdown," said Shanks.
A police officer arrived at the school shortly after.
"We felt because we didn't know the whereabouts of this subject so we just put the school on notice and on lockdown, so we could secure him into custody," said Union County Sheriff, Dan Limoges.
The decision to declare a lockdown was made after a call came in about a house fire in the area. Sheriff Limoges says it was clear the house was intentionally set on fire.
Although the home that was set on fire is miles away from the school, police believed the man behind it was dangerous, and could be a potential threat to the school.
The suspect also has family ties to students at Elk Point Jefferson.
"That's the first time we've ever actually done that. Some can say it was extreme, but based on this individual's character, demeanor, we didn't know what he was capable of," said Sheriff Limoges.
This may have been the first time a lockdown was called in Elk Point, but regular drills in the school have prepared students for what to expect.
"We continue school like normal, it's just that nobody comes in," said Superintendent Shanks.
Sheriff Limoges and Superintendent Shanks agree that there is a heightened responsibility to protect students, given recent events around the country.
"We found that people are more sensitive to it right now, because of the fact that it seems like the mass murders and things are one after another," said Superintendent Shanks.
"I do believe that based on what we've been witnessing across the nation, and here in our schools, and different areas that we're probably a little more cautionary to do those kind of measures just to be on the safe side," said Sheriff Limoges.
And in this case, it doesn't hurt to be safe.
The lockdown was lifted shortly before 11:00 AM after Scott Allen Hughes was taken into custody in Plymouth County, Iowa. Hughes will be extradited back to Union County as soon as he has signed his waiver.