MARS HILL – A lockdown at Mars Hill College was lifted simply earlier than 3 p.m. Sept. 5 after native legislation enforcement earlier within the afternoon instructed college officers to provoke the lockdown in response to a suspected carjacking close to Principal Avenue.
Shortly earlier than 3:30 p.m., Sheriff Buddy Harwood posted a photograph of the automobile, a Jeep with “U.S. Mail” and “Frequent stops” listed on the again of the automobile.
“Madison County Sheriff’s Workplace and Mars Hill Police Division trying to find this automobile. If you happen to see it Name 911,” Harwood mentioned within the Fb submit.
MHU spokesperson Mike Thornhill mentioned campus officers despatched out three all-call textual content message alerts to college students, with the primary alert being despatched out shortly earlier than 1:15 p.m. Sept. 5.
Mars Hill College college students Emily Durham and Kaylee Fitzgerald mentioned the uncertainty surrounding the occasion was “scary.”
“It was loopy,” mentioned Fitzgerald, a senior. “I used to be shocked, as a result of that is the most secure campus in all of North Carolina, I really feel like. Nothing ever occurs right here, like ever. Positive, there might be a celebration on the nook, and it’ll get shut down in like 10 minutes. However nothing ever occurs right here. Probably the most you have to fear about is coyotes.”
Durham, additionally a senior, added: “I’ve heard plenty of rumors going round, which simply makes it scarier. After they say an ‘off-campus incident,’ it might be Principal Avenue or it might be Asheville.”
Elliot Prescott, a freshman on the college, instructed the Information-Document that when the primary notification went out, he puzzled if it was his automotive that had been stolen.
“The preliminary report was of a carjacking,” Thornhill mentioned. “I do not know what it truly turned out to be, however that is the knowledge that I obtained from our campus safety who requested me to activate our system.
Thornhill mentioned campus safety was instructed by native legislation enforcement officers to have the campus go on lockdown and “hold all people in place.”
“No matter it was, it was occurring a few miles someplace down South Principal Avenue,” Thornhill mentioned. “We put it out over our emergency system, texted all people and emailed the knowledge, and that was at about 1:13 p.m. that that went out. We had been notified simply earlier than 3 p.m., they usually mentioned that no matter is happening it had moved away from this space, and that we had been protected to renew common actions.”
Thornhill has served as director of communications since 2004 and mentioned that is the primary lockdown on the campus in 10-12 years, with each incidents resulting in the lockdown occurring off campus.
Neither Mars Hill Police Division nor Madison County Sheriff’s Workplace had been obtainable for remark.
This can be a creating story, and The Citizen Occasions may have extra data because it turns into obtainable.
Johnny Casey is the Madison County communities reporter for The Information-Document & Sentinel, a part of the USA TODAY Community. Attain him at email@example.com.