UPDATE: 'Suicidal' individual near Egg Harbor Township elementary schools leads to lockdown

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Superintendent said information on the event will go home with kids

EGG HARBOR TOWNSHIP – Swift Elementary and Slaybaugh Complex Schools were placed in a lockdown for approximately 30 minutes on Thursday, April 3 while police officers searched the nearby woods for an armed male reported to be suicidal.   

At approximately 1:15 p.m. Thursday, April 3, Egg Harbor Township Police received a call about the allegedly suicidal man, who had entered the woods near Zion Park in the area of Spray Avenue in the Scullville section of the township. The caller reported he had a firearm with him, police said.

 Numerous officers were called in to search for the subject. During the search, the Slaybaugh and Swift schools were locked down as well as the Wonder Years Day Care Center on Ocean Heights Avenue.

Superintendent Scott McCartney said the measure was taken as a precaution.

“The police did let us know about the event, and the schools in the surrounding area were put into modified lockdown,” McCartney said. “The schools and police department worked in perfect coordination to ensure the safety of our students and faculty. Notices will go home with the students at the end of the day to inform parents of the event."

 A letter sent home with Slaybaugh Complex students stated that no one was permitted outside or allowed to enter the building during this time. Principal Maryann Giardina explained in the letter that the teachers were informed that all classroom instruction would continue according to the regular routine and schedule.

“Our procedures worked as planned and practiced,” she wrote. “Students were not in danger at any time. Within a half hour, we were informed that the suspect had been apprehended and we could take the schools off of lockdown.”

Egg Harbor Township units were assisted by Somers Point K-9 Officer Rick Dill and his partner Erco. Police said after approximately 20 minutes of searching the subject was located, the weapon was recovered and no one was injured, at which time the schools were advised and returned to their normal schedule.

The subject was transported to the AtlantiCare City Campus for evaluation.

Check back for updates.



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