World / US and Canada

Schools in lockdown in US city due to suspicious person

(Xinhua) Updated: 2012-12-18 09:46

WASHINGTON - All schools are in lockdown in the US city of Ridgefield because of a suspicious person, local media quoted police as saying Monday.

The city, in the state of Connecticut, is some 30 km from Newtown, where a 20-year-old gunman on Friday killed 26 people, including 20 children, in an elementary school after killing his mother at home and before killing himself.

According to the Danbury News Times, the man was reportedly seen with a rifle near the Branchville train station. State and local police have been dispatched.

The Branchville School is near the station, but students were not yet inside the school when the report came in. Ridgefield Superintendent Deborah Low has released a statement saying that town schools "have been put into lockdown."

First Selectman Rudy Marconi said a motorist traveling on Route 7 told police he saw a man with a rifle. Heightened police presence was reported in the area.

Connecticut schools are in a heightened state of alert on the first day of school since the Connecticut school shooting tragedy.

A church in Newtown was also evacuated Sunday because of a bomb threat. State police spokesman Lt. J. Paul Vance said there have been threats and other false information on social media sites. Vance said anyone caught making threats will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.

President Barack Obama visited the community and met with family of victims late Sunday.

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