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Pursuit of armed robbery suspect leads to lockdown at The Museum School

Avondale Estates Crime and public safety Decatur Trending

Pursuit of armed robbery suspect leads to lockdown at The Museum School

The Museum School of Avondale Estates. Photo by Dean Hesse.

This story has been updated. 

Greater Decatur, GA — The pursuit of an armed robbery suspect led to a lockdown of The Museum School of Avondale Estates on Friday, March 3.

DeKalb County Schools Police and Avondale Police were on the scene, according to the message sent to parents. Decaturish has asked both agencies for more information.

“This afternoon around 1 p.m. The Museum School was notified by local police that an armed subject fled from police and was last seen in the woods behind our school,” an email from the school says. “Following our lockdown drill routine, all students and staff immediately went into lockdown mode. Within minutes, all students and staff were safely tucked into locked rooms with coverings over windows and closed blinds. School leaders swept the entire building, ensuring all doors were locked, students were out of site, and all students and staff were accounted for. Avondale Police and Dekalb County Schools Police were on-site during the entire event, ensuring extra protection for our students and staff. Additionally, school leaders were in constant communication with police officers throughout the event. Around 1:50 p.m., the suspect was apprehended, and the lockdown was lifted.”

The DeKalb County Police Department released additional details about the incident.

“On March 3, at approximately 12:30 p.m., officers were circulating in the area of Memorial Drive and Covington Highway in reference to a stolen vehicle that had been used in an armed robbery,” a spokesperson for the police department said. “Officers located the vehicle and attempted a traffic stop, but the vehicle refused to stop.  After a brief pursuit, the vehicle crashed in the area of Royal Bluff and Ashfield Drive. The suspect fled on foot but was later apprehended hiding in the crawl space of a nearby residence.  He has since been lodged in the DeKalb Jail for various felonies.  We have no additional information at this time.”

Royal Bluff and Ashfield Drive are located near The Museum School.

A parent who received the letter told Decaturish the school handled the episode “really well.” The school staff provided “additional support” for students who were upset by the incident, the letter from TMS says.

Museum School Executive Director Katherine Kelbaugh told Decaturish, “All students, faculty and staff at The Museum School are safe.”

“Upon notification, we followed our safety protocols and placed the school on lockdown,” Kelbaugh said. “The all-clear was given after 43 minutes, after police notified us that a person was apprehended.”

The lockdown followed a chaotic week in and around the city of Decatur.

In other notable public safety events this week:

— MARTA Police are asking for the public’s help responding to a report of shots fired near the Avondale MARTA station on Wednesday, March 1.

MARTA Police haven’t been able to speak to any witnesses of the event, which happened around 4 p.m. Decatur Police also responded, but MARTA Police have jurisdiction over the scene. Multiple people on social media did report hearing about the shooting, smelling smoke, and in some cases seeing it occur, but those accounts have not been corroborated. MARTA Police want to speak with any witnesses who were there.

For more information, click here.

— On March 1, police responded to an unauthorized person entering College Heights Early Childhood Learning center and an active shooter hoax at Decatur High.

College Heights Early Childhood Learning Center went into a lockdown on Wednesday, March 1, for about 40 minutes after an unauthorized person entered the school building.

Decatur Police Sgt. John Bender later confirmed that police carrying long guns responded to Decatur High after getting a call about a student firing a gun inside the classroom. The call turned out to be a hoax.

There’s no indication the incidents are related. For the full story, click here.

—  Decatur High School went on lockdown Tuesday evening due to a shooting, according to multiple parents who texted Decaturish about the situation.

“On Tuesday, February 28, 2023, at approximately 5:32 p.m., Decatur Police responded to the 1400 block of Commerce Drive in reference to a person shot,” Decatur Police Sgt. John Bender said. “Upon arrival, officers located an adult male suffering from a gunshot wound. The male was transported to an area hospital for treatment. The case is actively being investigated. If you have any information in the case, please contact the Decatur Police Department at 404-373-6551.”

On Friday, March 3, Bender said the suspect in the case has been identified as Terrill Hall, 24, of Decatur.

“Mr. Hall is currently wanted for aggravated assault in relation to this case,” Bender said. “If you have information on the whereabouts of Mr. Hall, please contact the Decatur Police Department at 404-373-6551 or dial 911.”

For the full story, click here.

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