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Alexander County Sheriff's Office
Tuesday March 5th, 2013 :: 08:26 p.m. EST


911 call prompted law enforcement response to a Bethlehem residence this morning; officer to be on hand at school on Wednesday morning

On Tuesday, March 5th, 2013 at 7:15 a.m. the Alexander County Emergency Communications Center received a 911 call from a residence on NC Highway 127 near Bethlehem Elementary School. The caller stated that an unknown male had forced his way into the residence and taken his spouse hostage inside. The caller also relayed that the intruder possibly was armed with a gun. Officers quickly responded to the scene and made contact with the occupants there. A thorough search of the caller's residence and outbuildings yielded no sign of forced entry and no armed intruder. Due to the close proximity to Bethlehem Elementary School, law enforcement requested that the school be placed on temporary lock down as a safety precaution.

Further investigation by officers on the scene failed to produce any evidence that substantiated the caller's claims about and intruder or hostage situation. After speaking to a family member of the caller, law enforcement determined that the caller was likely in need of medical evaluation for a possible mental health issue and that no home intrusion or hostage situation had actually occurred. The caller was taken into protective custody by law enforcement and transported for medical evaluation.

During the incident and subsequent lock down, Sheriff Chris Bowman and his officers maintained open communication with Alexander County School Officials regarding the safety of the situation as it pertained to the school. Following a thorough investigation it was determined by both law enforcement and school officials that it was prudent and safe for Bethlehem Elementary School to be released from the lock down.

Law enforcement officials believe this to be an isolated incident that poses no foreseeable threat to the children and staff of Bethlehem Elementary School, however as a precautionary measure an officer will be stationed at the school during a portion of the school day on Wednesday, March 6, 2013. Sheriff Chris Bowman believes this proactive measure to be prudent and necessary to both ensure the safety of the children and staff as well as to ease the minds of concerned parents. The need for additional measures or actions will be evaluated and addressed as they may arise. If you have any concerns about this incident you may contact the Alexander County Sheriff's Office at 828-632-1111.

Alexander County Sheriff's Office
91 Commercial Park Avenue
Taylorsville, NC 28681

Emergency: 9-1-1
Non-emergencies: 828-632-1111

7900 Highway 127
Hickory, NC 28601

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