ALTON - Eunice Smith Elementary School was placed in lock-down mode Tuesday afternoon.
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That lock-down was caused by a woman from the adjacent 300 block of Lindenwood Blvd. escaping to the school after her home was entered by an armed masked assailant. Upon reaching the school, school employees called the Alton Police Department to report the incident. The school was put into lock-down mode shortly after 1:15 p.m.
Alton Assistant Superintendent Kristie Baumgartner said the staff of Eunice Smith did an excellent job with the district's emergency procedures.
"They implemented the emergency procedures very well in the situation," Baumgartner said. "Teachers and staff ensured classes continued as usual with their lesson plans."
Social media posts described students believing the incident was an extended drill and keeping very calm. Students were not in any immediate danger during the nearly hour-long lock-down, and dismissal occurred at its usual time.
The incident necessitating the lock-down is still under investigation by the Alton Police Department. Alton Police Chief Jake Simmons said his department was following a few leads, but did not have a suspect named at this time.
Simmons said the suspect is a black male between 30 and 35 with short hair and possibly a beard. He was wearing a white surgical mask, which was recovered shortly after the home invasion in the 400 block of Brentwood Blvd. in a shed. The suspect was also wearing a lime green vest, like one a utility worker may wear, and brandished a black handgun. The suspect stood around 5' 9''. Simmons said anyone with information on the suspect should call the Alton Police Department.
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