Man sought by police in school lockdowns wanted by Metro drug unit

Deputies speak about lifted lockdowns at schools
Published: Jan. 18, 2023 at 6:08 PM EST
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KANAWHA COUNTY, W.Va. (WSAZ) - The Kanawha County SWAT Team on Wednesday morning carried out a search warrant for a man in the Dunbar/Institute area.

The team was helping the Metropolitan Drug Enforcement Network Team (MDENT) with an investigation. When the team showed up, Chief Deputy Joe Crawford said the wanted man already left.

“There was an individual that left just before the search warrant was executed,” Crawford said. “The measures were done strictly out of precaution.”

Charleston Police Lt. Tony Hazelett, who is heading the investigation, said the lockdown was just in case the suspect was armed.

Crawford said K-9 units searched the area of Smoot Avenue and Carver Street in Institute where residents were asked to shelter in place.

Schools that were in lockdown include Dunbar Primary, Raglin Center Preschool, Ben Franklin Career Center and Dunbar Middle School.

Alisha Smith, a mom of two, was walking with her daughter in the Dunbar area where her son goes to Dunbar Primary.

“I got an alert on my phone and a text from the school, and I feel like that is what I would want to know as a parent because it made me nervous at first,” Smith said.

The lockdown was lifted later Wednesday morning.

The man was not found, according to CPD. Police said he is wanted for a crime but were unable to give any further details.

“That makes me kind of scared, especially with my 3-year-old, and if I was walking and someone is armed, you know,” Smith said. “I would rather know because is something was to escalate with the lockdown I would want to know.”

West Virginia State University was also placed on lockdown.