Three Lexington County schools placed on lockout during manhunt in area, officials say

Lexington County School District One

Three Lexington County schools were briefly placed on secure, or lockout, Tuesday morning, as Lexington County sheriff’s deputies conducted a search unrelated to the schools in the area, Lexington 1 officials said.

Deputies were searching for a man in the Gilbert area after a domestic-related call, sheriff’s department spokesman Capt. Adam Myrick told The State.

Neighbors were advised about the manhunt and have since been told search is over, Myrick said.

Information about the man, and anyone else involved in the domestic incident, was not available.

There was no word if the incident was fatal, and messages left with the Lexington County Coroner’s Office were not immediately returned.

The schools — Rocky Creek Elementary, Centerville Elementary, and Beechwood Middle — were placed on secure at about 9:40 a.m., Lexington 1 spokeswoman Kathryn McPhail told The State.

“The secure lasted about 5 minutes. I am proud of how our students and staff handled this situation,” Rocky Creek Principal Michelle Smith said in a letter to parents.

The “secure” response is part of the “standard response protocol” used by school districts nationwide. In 2021, the foundation that developed this protocol changed some of the terminology used, and what is now referred to as secure is what was previously called a lockout.

“As a reminder, during secure students continue learning inside their locked classroom, and no one comes and goes from the building,” Smith said. “Your student may not have even noticed a change in their day.”

None of the schools or students were affected by the situation, McPhail said.

The sheriff’s department continues to be involved and is expected to provide more information about the incident and search.

This is a developing story, check back for updates.