By Sharna Johnson: CNJ staff Writer
Two Clovis schools were placed on precautionary lockdown at about noon Tuesday while police searched for a 12-year-old boy with an ax, according to a Clovis Police Department press release.
The boy was spotted by an adult near the schools carrying an ax, according to officials
Yucca Junior High and Parkview Elementary were locked down for less than an hour as police searched for the youth, combing an area off 14th Street in the vicinity of the schools, officials said.
As of Tuesday evening, the youth’s whereabouts where still unknown. However, police had discovered a single blade, wooden ax, measuring about 2 feet, underneath a railroad car on 14th Street football field, according to Clovis Police Officer Dale Rice.
The youth was reported missing earlier in the day by his father, Schoeffel said.
David Briseno, public relations director for Clovis Municipal Schools, said the schools reacted to a report from a citizen who had seen the youth in the area carrying an ax.
The passerby asked why the boy wasn’t in school. The youth told the passerby he had been suspended from school and was angry. When the individual tried to detain the child, saying he was going to call the police, the child ran, Briseno said.
Briseno said the passerby notified one local school principal who in turn contacted the other school.
Clovis Police Public Information Officer, Lt. Jim Schoeffel, said officers searched streets, neighborhoods and abandoned homes near the schools before notifying administrators the area was clear. He said officers continued to patrol the area throughout the afternoon.
Schoeffel said the goal of the police is to locate the youth and return him to his family.
“We want to know what his intentions were,” Schoeffel said. “He is listed as a runaway. We want to find him and return him to his parents.”
Briseno said lockdowns are precautionary measures issued at the discretion of school principals to ensure the safety of students.
Officer Rice said students should be safe to return to schools today, although no extra police protection had been ordered.