MOUNT VERNON — Mount Vernon City Schools were placed on a modified lockdown Monday afternoon following an emergency alert. The notice stated the sheriff was looking for Shawn Christy, a Pennsylvania man last seen in Richland County and wanted on allegations of threatening to harm or kill a district attorney, a police chief, law enforcement and President Donald Trump.
The emergency alert went out at approximately 1:30 p.m. Monday afternoon and stated, “Sheriff looking for Shawn Christy WM 5’10” 150 lb br/gr if seen call 911 do not approach.”
The alert caused both Mount Vernon City Schools and St. Vincent de Paul school to enter into a modified lockdown. St. Vincent also implemented a controlled release of students, meaning that students were not released from the school unless a parent or guardian is physically present to pick them up.
“It was just a precaution,” MVCSD Superintendent Bill Seder said. “Just to be safe until we heard more information.”
Seder explained that the modified lockdown changed very little in the day-to-day operations of the district, particularly at the middle school and high school, where there is no recess, so students would not be outside anyway.
St. Vincent de Paul Principal Martha Downs explained that the modified lockdown and controlled release are precautionary practices and are a part of their emergency response procedures.
Calls from the News to the Sheriff’s office were patched through to 911 dispatch, who explained that the alert was sent from the Richland County Sheriff.
At 1:54 p.m. another emergency alert was sent clarifying that the first “alert was sent out by the Richland County Sheriff’s Office to Richland and adjacent counties. The subject has not been seen in Knox.”
At 2:19 p.m., an additional alert was sent by MVCSD through the Knox Alert system stating that the modified lockdown has been canceled.
“We reacted in a safe way, but it does get people to worry a little bit,” Seder said. “Once we heard more information from the sheriff’s department letting us know [he wasn’t] spotted in Knox County, then we could go through and say ‘based on some further information, our modified lockdown has been canceled.’ We were probably only in a modified for a half an hour.”
According to the Associated Press, Christy was last seen in the Mansfield area, where he is alleged to have wrecked a stolen vehicle on I-71, between the Ohio 13 and 39 exits. He is believed to be armed and dangerous.
As of this morning, he was still on the run with no reported sightings confirmed.
He is described as a caucasian male, 165 pounds, green eyes, brown hair and has a tattoo of barbed wire and a cross on his upper right arm. If spotted, residents are asked to call 911.