3:00 update: A news release by the Bedford Co. Sheriff's office provides new details on events that lead to a lockdown at four schools in Forest. At about 9:40 they got a report that a student had been assaulted with a weapon by a black man in his 30's wearing a gray hoodie and black pants. At about 9:45, four schools in the area were placed on a level one lockdown.
The news release says the lockdown ended at 12:02 "as the incident could not be substantiated". The release says the students were never in immediate danger, and deputies stayed on the scene until the lockdown was lifted. They are continuing to investigate.
1:37 update: Bedford County police say the lockdown was related to an assault on a student off school grounds near the school. As a precaution, the school was put on lockdown. The case still under investigation. Patrols in Bedford are looking for a black male around 30 years old in connection to this case.
12:44 p.m. update: Katie Love reports that the lockdown affecting four schools in the Forest area of Bedford County has been lifted.
Bedford County Schools' spokesman Ryan Edwards says four Bedford County schools are currently on lockdown. All four are in the Forest area. Edwards says the level one lockdown is a precaution, due to a situation in the community that the sheriff's office is working, and not on school property.
The affected schools are:
Jefferson Forest High School
Forest Middle School
Thomas Jefferson Elementary School
Forest Elementary School
A level one lockdown means that all school entrances are locked and guarded. Students are allowed to move between classes, just not outside.
The lockdown began shortly after 10 a.m.
Edwards stressed all parents and community members to not come to the schools until the lockdown is lifted, so security can focus on protection.
He expects the lockdown to be lifted "in the near future," but did not specify when.
Edwards directed questions about the situation to the sheriff's office, which had not responded as of 11:14 a.m.