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Falls Church School Locked Down After Man With Gun Spotted

by ARLnow.com — July 30, 2010 at 11:21 am 755 6 Comments

Thomas Jefferson Elementary School in Falls Church was locked down around 9:30 this morning after a jogger told police she saw a man with an assault weapon in the area.

The man was wearing camouflage, a utility belt and a helmet, the woman said.  Falls Church police officers searched the school and the neighborhood but did not find anyone matching the description. The scene has since been cleared, according to city spokesperson Hyun June.

About 124 summer school students, teachers and staff, along with a daycare program, were inside the school at the time.

Update at 12:15 p.m. — Police believe the man, who still hasn’t been located, was carrying an airsoft gun or a paintball gun. He’s described as a white male in his twenties.

  • Jen

    Has any law been violated? Open carry is legal within the Commonwealth. As long as he was not on school grounds I see no issue.

    • AllenB

      You see no reason for alarm when a man who appeared to be carrying an assault weapon and wearing camo clothes is seen near a school?? You, ma’am, are certifiable.

    • JimPB

      Legal, maybe. But prudence and prevention trump what may be legal. Better to CHECK OUT before lives are lost and others are injured.

    • Darwin

      I have to ride the fence here, sounds like no laws were broken but since we don’t mind having armed guards at banks and jewelry stores but insist on ensuring our schools are completely unprotected I say we need to follow up on these calls.
      We need common sense policies that allow certain key school staff to carry so we don’t have a repeat of VA Tech. No amount of laws will stop a determined killer, only an armed response will and until then we are ensuring our children are literally defenseless.

  • Carlos

    Locking down schools because law-abiding peope are “in the area”? Sheesh.

    Oh, a “utility belt,” you say! Perhaps it was Batman.

  • Pat O’Donnell

    If the police reported that they think this fellow was carrying a paintball or airsoft gun, why is this website still posting the story under the headline “Falls Church School Locked Down After Man With Gun Spotted”? This is just sensationalist, a cynical attempt to draw hits and amp ad revenue at the expense of accuracy — like the similar story this website ran this week about claiming a teenager toting an “assault rifle” was prowling Madison Manor. This kind of careless sensationalism freaks people out, and if, God forbid, it gets the police amped up too, it might contribute to some kid outside with a harmless toy getting seriously hurt.

    I hope folks realize that the thinly sourced, sensationalized stories that appear on arlnow.com should be taken with a large grain of salt, and that their credulity is being abused. No harm as long as you read this for entertainment, like the National Enquirer, but please don’t believe what you read here.

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