Falmouth Police Captain Brian Reid issued a statement that police believe they have located the suspected individual.
“Officers have interacted with a man who they believe was the individual seen walking through the school grounds. He was not in possession of any weapons and is not suspected of having committed any crimes at this time,” Reid wrote in a statement. “Early news reports that he was seen carrying a firearm were inaccurate.”
The man was seen crossing through the school campus from Maravista Avenue Extension by a parent and a child just before the start of school this morning.
They said they saw an undiscernible item in the man’s hand that they thought might be a weapon. They reported the sighting to a school staff member who called police.
The school was placed in lockdown as a precaution. School buses were temporarily rerouted while awaiting approval by police.
Police conducted a search of the area with the assistance of a Barnstable Sheriff Department k-9 officer.
Police were seen searching the woods near Walmart, which is near the school, as well as wooded areas along Main Street to the center of town.
Once police provided the okay, the buses returned and police escorted students into the school building.
School classes went on as normal although the windows and doors were closed and shades drawn. No children were allowed out for recess.
Police are not releasing the man’s name at this time.
The original announcement about the lockdown was made by Falmouth Superintendent of Schools Bonny Gifford, who also alerted parents to the issue.
Reid stated that the abundance of caution involved in the response was reflective of how serious such incidents are taken these days.
“Over the past seven years, there has been a collaborative effort between the police, fire and school departments in Falmouth to train and prepare for incidents such as this in order to offer the safest environment possible for them at our schools,” Reid wrote. “This incident was not a drill and the entire staff of the Teaticket School responded extremely well to help ensure the safety of the children in their care.”