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Lockdown Lifted At Ridgefield Schools

Police investigate a report of a suspicious person at the Branchville train station in Ridgefield. Photo Credit: Alissa Smith
Ridgefield police Capt. Tom Comstock says a witness reported seeing a person possibly carrying a rifle near the Branchville train station around 8 a.m., Monday. Photo Credit: Alissa Smith

Updated 11:30 a.m. RIDGEFIELD, Conn. — The lockout has been lifted at Ridgefield's public schools after a report earlier Monday of a 'suspicious person' near the Branchville train station.

Superintendent Deborah Low said schools got the all clear at 11:15 a.m.

"Branchville students are now taking buses from East Ridge back to Branchville. Schools are no longer on a modified lockdown. As planned for today, a police presence remains at each school," Low said in an alert on the district's website.

All nine public school in Ridgefield were put into lockdown Monday morning due to a "possibly suspicious person" at the Branchville train station.

"A little bit before 8 o'clock this morning we got a report of a suspicious male wearing all black, possibly carrying a weapon described to us as in a sling over his shoulder,"  Capt. Tom Comstock of the Ridgefield Police said at  briefing Monday morning. "We have no confirmation of this."

There was one witness, who Comstock said has not changed their story regarding it being a long gun, possibly a rifle. The suspect had been described a white male and police are searching the area with dogs and by foot.

Comstock said that the suspect was reported to be walking north on Route 7.

Buses headed to Branchville Elementary Monday morning were re-routed to East Ridge Middle School. Branchville Elementary students are in the gymnasium at East Ridge.

"As planned for today, a police presence remains at each school," Low said.

Not just schools were locked down. Lolly Turner, owner of Whistle Stop Bakery at the train station, said that police came to the bakery and told them to lock down, to shut off the lights and go home.

"What we were told was that someone had called in that a person dressed in all black carrying what could possibly be a gun," said Turner. "We were told that this person was seen at the elementary school."

But the lock down at the bakery was over just as soon as it began, Turner said. She said that police — she thinks it was the state police — had come and told her and her staff that the parking lot was clear and that they could open again.

"After last Friday , everyone is so hyper-sensitive about these things," Turner said.

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