Wrong man stopped in Alaska school lockdown

Posted: Thursday, September 09, 2010

FAIRBANKS - An armed man detained in the parking lot of an Alaska elementary school was not the man who triggered a lockdown last week.

The Fairbanks Daily News-Miner said the man held at Fort Wainwright's Arctic Light Elementary School after an anonymous tip last Friday had several firearms in his vehicle, including a shotgun and a rifle.

Officials said the man was cited for violating post policy and released, but the firearms were registered and had been secured for transport.

A Fort Wainwright spokeswoman declined to identify the man, or whether he was a civilian or military.

"Essentially, he was in the wrong place at the wrong time," said spokeswoman Linda Douglass.

An initial report put the school and surrounding buildings into lockdown for about three hours as about 20 law enforcement officers, including some from the Fairbanks Police Department, searched for a suspect.

Douglass said investigators are still developing leads on the suspect and the person who gave police the tip.

Under Alaska law, it is a misdemeanor to possess a firearm on school grounds without the permission of a school or school district administrator.

Civilians and military personnel are required to register firearms with the post before bringing them on to Fort Wainwright.

Soldiers and civilians are prohibited from carrying weapons on post but are allowed to transport guns to authorized firing ranges, hunting areas or their homes.

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