Connecticut Schools Locked Down Over Suspicious Man [Updated]

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Police guard the entrance to the Sandy Hook School on December 15, 2012 in Newtown, Connecticut. The residents of an idyllic Connecticut town were reeling in horror from the massacre of 20 small children and six adults in one of the worst school shootings in US history. The heavily armed gunman shot dead 18 children inside Sandy Hook Elementary School, said Connecticut State Police spokesman Lieutenant Paul Vance. Two more died of their wounds in hospital.
Photo: Don Emmert/AFP/Getty Images

With the entire country and especially Connecticut understandably on edge, a report of a potentially armed man sent schools into lockdown on Monday morning in the town of Ridgefield, just twenty miles from Newtown. As a "precautionary measure," schools in nearby Redding are also on alert. "We're looking for a suspicious person at an elementary school," said a police dispatcher, according to Reuters.

A call came in around 8 a.m. when a woman said she saw a man carrying what looked like a rifle in the vicinity of Branchville School, the Ridgefield Press reports. "I'm aware of that situation in the town of Ridgefield," confirmed state police lieutenant Paul Vance at news conference in Newton this morning. "There's a report of a suspicious person, a suspicious person that may or may not be armed," he said, but police are securing the area with the help of search dogs and officers from surrounding towns.

Update: The website for Ridgefield's public schools has an update as of 11:15 a.m.: "The police have given the all clear. After an extensive police search, no dangerous activity was discovered. Branchville students are now taking buses from East Ridge back to Branchville. Schools are no longer on a modified lockdown. As planned for today, a police presence remains at each school. Thank you."