Gunfire heard near Lancaster school prompts lockdown; 2nd incident in 2 days

What happens during a school lockdown?

A school lockdown is a precautionary measure issued in response to a direct or nearby threat. It requires staff and students to respond quickly and comply with rules. Here’s how it often works.
Up Next
A school lockdown is a precautionary measure issued in response to a direct or nearby threat. It requires staff and students to respond quickly and comply with rules. Here’s how it often works.

Gunfire heard Friday morning caused a lockdown at a Lancaster school in the second incident over shots fired in two days in Lancaster County.

The incident Friday morning was near Erwin Elementary School, said Bryan Vaughn, safety and transportation director for the Lancaster County School District. Students and staff were instructed to shelter in place at school.

Students continued normal activities inside the building but were not allowed outside to playgrounds, Vaughn said.

Police are investigating the report of shots fired.

The school district sent the following message to parents around 8 a.m. Friday:

“This morning our duty personnel heard what was believed to be gun shots in the adjacent neighborhood. Students were sheltered inside as quickly as possible and law enforcement was notified.

No evidence of danger has been found in the area by law enforcement. We will be operating on a modified lockdown today. This means students will move normally within the building but will not be on playgrounds or areas outside of school. We are extremely conservative in these types of situations and think this is the most prudent approach.

We wanted our parents to know what went on and why law enforcement was seen on campus this morning. The team at Erwin did a great job detecting and responding to this event.”

The Lancaster schools safety office also posted the message to parents on their Facebook page.

Erwin elementary is on Locustwood Avenue in Lancaster.

On Thursday, Kershaw Elementary School, Andrew Jackson High School and Andrew Jackson Middle School were on lockdown for several hours after a man fired shots near the schools in what police said was a domestic dispute. That suspect, Leonard Shropshire Jr. , 21, was arrested later Thursday by Lancaster County deputies after the shooting on Belvedere Drive.

Shropshire of Lancaster was arrested after police say he shot into a home on Belvedere Drive. Belvedere connects U.S. 521 and Fork Hill Road, just north of Kershaw. The shooting happened just before 9 a.m. Thursday.

Police say four adults were in a home on Belvedere when the shots were fired. One was a woman who knew Shropshire. She told police that Shropshire texted her minutes before the shooting asking if he could come to the home to retrieve personal items. The woman refused.

Shropshire arrived and began beating on the door, according to police, and wasn’t allowed in before people in the house and witnesses nearby heard gunshots. Several shots struck the house, police said. No one in the home was injured. A man in the home returned fire. Witnesses reported Shropshire then ran north.

The sheriff’s office notified schools, which locked down nearby. Deputies later found Shropshire on a relative’s porch on Parkman Avenue in Lancaster.

Shropshire was uninjured. A 9 mm pistol believed to be used in the incident was recovered at the Parkman Avenue home. The pistol was reported stolen out of Lancaster days earlier. Shropshire is being held on charges including four counts of attempted murder, possession of a firearm during a violent crime and possession of a stolen pistol.

“It is fortunate neither the occupants of the home, the uninvolved witnesses, passersby, nor Shropshire was injured during this senseless shooting incident,” said Sheriff Barry Faile. “The homes in the area are very close to each other and to a busy highway. Our personnel did an excellent job tracking down Shropshire in Lancaster and arresting him.”

Related stories from Rock Hill Herald