Editors Note: The suspect who was arrested was Justin Scronce of Omaha.
LEXINGTON — A shoplifter tried to escape law enforcement on foot during the afternoon of Wednesday, Aug. 21. As a precaution Lexington Public Schools was asked to put Morton Elementary on lockout by the Lexington Police Department.
Justin Scronce of Omaha arrested by Lexington Police officers after he was caught shoplifting from a local store, said Captain Paul Schwarz. Scronce attempted to evade officers, but was spotted by a resident near Santa Fe Dr. around 3:15 p.m. Several officers arrived on scene and Scronce was arrested soon after.
During the pursuit, LPD contacted Morton Elementary to have the school placed on lockout since they hadn’t identified Scronce yet and were unsure of his intentions.
LPS Superintendent John Hakonson said Morton was contacted by the LPD about the suspect who was fleeing on foot in the general area of the elementary. Hakonson said the elementary went into a lockout as a precaution but the suspect wasn’t a direct threat to the school.
Students outside were escorted into the school and all the entrances were locked.
A social media post by Principal Nikki Edeal stated "I would like to clarify the event that took place at Morton Elementary today(8/21). Morton was in a Lock-Out situation for about 30 minutes. We know that when situations like this arise, it causes concern for parents. However, Morton Elementary followed all Standard Response Protocols to keep all students and staff safe. There was no immediate threat in our building so notification of parents is not part of the district protocol. I assure you that the safety of our students is of utmost importance. If you need further details on Lexington Public Schools Standard Response Protocol, please refer to the LPS Parent/Student Handbook."