A gunman in Greenville, S.C., opened fire on a police officer checking on a suspicious license plate Friday, leading to the lockdown of 10 nearby schools being closed temporarily while authorities searched for the gunman.
According to police spokeswoman Alia Urps, the shooting occurred around 10 a.m. in a fairly low populated are just south of Interstate 85 at an apartment complex.
Urps was not sure exactly how many shots were fired, but was certain that the officer returned fire and was not hit. However, it is unknown if the suspect was hit.
Urps told The Associated Press that an officer was checking on license plates in a hotel parking lot and realized that one was listed for a different vehicle. When she went indoors to figure out the vehicle’s driver, the suspect fled. He escaped into nearby woods and hasn’t been since.
"We're asking everyone in the area to stay inside until we determine the area is safe," Urps said.
While the schools that closed were in different locations, four were public and three were private. Also, two were colleges and one was special education center.
"This is not around the corner from a school. I don't want to give you that impression. This is several miles from any of our schools," Oby Lyles, spokesman for Greenville County school district, told The Associated Press. "Everybody's fine."
Officials said the 10 school closings were merely a precaution and no students or teachers were at risk. After about two hours, schools shift to partial lockdown and even though students and employees must stay inside, some visitors can enter through the front office.