VINTON–At 11:49 a.m. on August 31, the Vinton Police Department received a call concerning a domestic dispute involving child custody. Police were warned that an estranged parent might be on the way to Herman L. Horn Elementary School to attempt to remove their child from the school premises.
Following standard procedures for this type of incident, the school was locked down. Principal Susan Brown notified families of the precautionary lockdown through the alert system.
Lieutenant Mark Vaught of the Vinton Police Department coordinated efforts with the school, the school system, Roanoke City and Roanoke County police, and deputies from Bedford County.
“The school followed their lockdown policy one hundred percent,” said Vaught. “The staff knew where each child was at all times.”
The police could not validate the incident and no suspect was located. The school doors were locked for about 90 minutes during the investigation.
Several Vinton Police officers were on hand to assist with an orderly and on-time dismissal of students by bus and car, as was Dr. Lorraine Lange, Roanoke County Superintendent of Schools.
Investigators planned to follow up on the original complaint involving the domestic dispute.
Principal Brown and Dr. Lange both thanked the Vinton Police and neighboring jurisdictions for their assistance during the lockdown. Dr. Lange also expressed her appreciation to her staff at Herman L. Horn for their handling of the incident.
“It just shows that if there were ever an incident, they were right on it,” said Lange.
Brown again notified parents via the alert system when the lockdown ended and dismissal was complete.
“Everything went smoothly; the children got home safely,” said Lange.