Update: Lockdown lifted

By Kevin Spradlin

The Richmond County Ninth Grade Academy is on lockdown this afternoon at the request of the Richmond County Sheriff’s Office as a man has reportedly barricaded himself in a nearby business.

Stephanie Spradlin | PeeDeePost.com

Stephanie Spradlin | PeeDeePost.com

Ashley-Michelle Thublin, public information officer for Richmond County Schools, emphasized that “all of our students are completely fine” during a brief phone interview just before 2:30 p.m.

A sheriff’s office representative requested the school be placed on lockdown as a precautionary measure after a man barricaded himself inside Plastek Industries.

Plastek Industries is located approximately three-quarters of a mile east of the Ninth Grade Academy.

The lockdown was in place for approximately 15 minutes, from 2:10 p.m. to about 2:25 p.m. Thublin said the incident will have no impact on the day’s dismissal routine.

Update 4 p.m.: Mark Gulledge, chief deputy with the Richmond County Sheriff’s Office, explained that a North Carolina Highway Patrol trooper was already on scene at Plastek Industries investigating an unrelated vehicle accident when the man allegedly caused a disturbance in the parking area.

The trooper was alone, Gulledge said, and requested assistance. The initial report to the sheriff’s office indicated a man, possibly armed, had re-entered the plant. As deputies responded to the scene, they made the request to lockdown Ninth Grade Academy.

Deputies arrived and secured the perimeter, then spoke with plant officials.

“When we got time to review video footage, it was determined he had already left the area,” Gulledge said.

Gulledge said the man’s identity is known and that investigators intend to follow-up. He was not able to confirm whether or not the man had a weapon.

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  • Way Wrong

    The person was not barricaded inside plastek, that’s 100% false. Where did you hear this from and why didn’t you find out if it was true before you wrote it? A lot of people in RCO say Mr. Spradlin doesn’t check his facts. Now I can see why…

    • Kevin Spradlin

      Dear Way Wrong,

      The information about “barricaded” came direction from the Richmond County Schools PIO. In breaking news, journalists (and PIOs) do the best they can do get the information accurately and quickly. I stand by the approach used here and I also stand by what was reported, as all information was attributed to identified sources.

      Thank you for writing.


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