Hoke County schools on lockdown as police search for man on the run

RAEFORD — Hoke County Schools were briefly locked down last Wednesday afternoon after school officials learned of a potentially armed suspect in the Raeford area.

Incorrect information immediately flooded social media sites as parents and students speculated about whether or not the lockdowns were the result of an active shooter or a separate incident.

According to Hoke County Sheriff’s Office, a driver failed to pull over for deputies near the intersection of Palmer Street and Laurinburg Road, which ultimately resulted in a crash. The driver of the vehicle in question immediately ran away from the vehicle and fled the scene, heading directly towards the campus of Hoke County High School. 

Unsure of the motives of the fleeing suspect, Hoke County High School and East Hoke Middle School were placed on lockdown until officers were able to ascertain the whereabouts of the suspect and clear the scene. Fortunately, no students or staff at the school were injured. 

By 2 p.m. that afternoon, deputies from the sheriff’s office managed to detain the suspect, though no additional information about the suspect or the reason for his flight was provided. The lockdown at the schools was lifted shortly thereafter.

While the school lockdowns in Hoke County were taking place, Coats-Erwin Middle School in neighboring Harnett County was being evacuated due to a bomb threat. 

Just a day before the incidents in Hoke and Harnett counties, a student was charged with bringing a gun onto the campus of Terry Sanford High School in Fayetteville. The situation was averted after a classmate alerted a school resource officer about the possible firearm on campus.