UPDATE: All Lawrence County schools on precautionary lockdown

Published 8:26 am Friday, September 12, 2014

All Lawrence County schools are now on precautionary lockdown following a shooting threat made to Ironton Elementary, according to sheriff Jeff Lawless.

Lawless said his office received a call from an anonymous caller who viewed a posting on a particular website of a threat of violence toward the Ironton Elementary School.

“An investigation is underway,” Lawless said. “I have reached out to the Ohio Homeland Security and its fusion center is working at tracking down the IP addresses from the website as well as tracking down phone numbers.”

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Lawless placed all schools in Lawrence County on lockdown as a precautionary measure and sent law enforcement to each building.

A threat that someone was going to shoot at Ironton Elementary today prompted superintendent Dean Nance to close the school along with Ironton Middle.

Around 5 a.m. this morning, Nance said, someone wrote an anonymous post on a website that he or she planned to shoot at the elementary school.

“It took an hour or so before people started seeing the post,” Nance said. “With a threat such as this I made the easy decision to close the elementary school and the middle school as a precaution.”

The high school is in session today, Nance said, but security has been “beefed up considerably.”

“This person specifically targeted the elementary school in the post,” Nance said. “I closed the middle school and increased security at the high school as a precaution. We are trying to err on the side of safety.”

It takes a court order and the website must be subpoenaed to trace the IP address from where the post came. Nance said his office is working with the Ironton Police Department and the FBI to get the information needed.

“When we find out who did this, and we will find out,” Nance said, “we will prosecute them to the fullest extent of the law. If this person truly intended on shooting at the elementary school today when whoever it is gets there he or she will find a school with no students, but lots of police.”

Anyone with information about this threat should call the Sheriff’s Office at 740-532-3525.