Morning lockdown of Waynesboro Schools a proactive precaution

SubmittedZachary Dewar Tomey, 22, of Waynesboro faces charges of trespassing in Waynesboro.

Waynesboro Public Schools was on a complete lockdown Wednesday morning after 10 a.m. until about 11:45 a.m. after Waynesboro Police Department alerted the school system of several incidents in the community that could be dangerous for students and staff.

“We got word from the police department that there was an incident in the community,” said Waynesboro Schools Executive Director of Student Services Dr. Ryan Barber.

Just before 10 a.m. Wednesday, the school system was alerted by Waynesboro Police to place Kate Collins Middle School on modified lockdown, or code yellow as the school system refers to such situations, Barber said.

A code yellow means teachers continue instruction, but teachers, staff and students are not allowed outside the school during the code.

Police then instructed the school system to lockdown all seven schools because several incidents throughout the city posed a danger to students and teachers, Barber said.

At 11:45 a.m., Barber said, the situation was resolved by Waynesboro police, and the lockdown was lifted. At that time, the school system went to code green, which means the schools are to “resume normal activities.”

Throughout the morning, Barber sent messages to parents updating them on the situation, as well as messages to staff.

Barber said his understanding throughout the lockdown was that teachers, staff and students were not in danger, but teaching would resume and nobody was allowed outside school buildings.

“There was no emergency incident that involved our schools,” Barber said.

Waynesboro Schools going on lockdown was the school system being proactive based on alerts from Waynesboro police “out of an abundance of caution.”

Waynesboro police began investigating an incident of a stolen firearm in the 400 block of Lombardy Circle at approximately 9 a.m. Wednesday, according to a press release.

The “incident posed an officer safety and community issue,” the press release stated, so Waynesboro Schools were placed on a modified lockdown “as a precautionary measure to ensure the safety of all students while the suspect was at large.”

The alleged suspect, according to police, was Zachary Dewar Tomey, 22, of Waynesboro.

Waynesboro police searched for Tomey for more than two hours. He was eventually arrested in the 1600 block of New Hope Road and faces charges of trespassing.

The investigation of the stolen firearm is ongoing.

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