RICHMOND — White Hall Elementary School was put on lockdown for a short time Thursday beginning around 1:20 p.m.
Students who were outside the school spotted a man at the campus fence near the playground, which aroused suspicions, said Erin Stewart, Madison County Schools spokesperson.
Teachers had “an uneasy feeling” and ushered students into the building as a precaution and called police, Stewart said.
Personnel from the Richmond Police Department, Madison County Sheriff’s Offce and Kentucky State Police quickly arrived and secured the campus perimeter, said RPD Maj. Steve Gregg. The school was already on lockdown.
The man at the fence turned out to the a Madison County Detention Center inmate who was part of a work-release team sent to the nearby school district bus garage on North Keeneland Drive.
He told investigators he had been assigned to pick up litter along the fence, Gregg said. The man was not charged but was returned to jail.
Students interviewed by police gave varying accounts of what had occurred, Gregg said.
At 1:45 p.m., officers took another look around the campus, Stewart said.
“From what I understand, the situation is resolved,” she added.
The school and law enforcement agencies all acted promptly and followed correct procedures, Gregg said, and no harm came to anyone.
He noted the coincidence of local agencies conducting an exercise in Berea to practice their response to a school shooting at the same time their counterparts in Richmond were responding to what was at first was feared to be a real danger at a school.