School district uses emergency plan after nearby shooting - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

Schools use emergency plan after gas station shooting

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Ulysses Bryant, the chief of police for the entire Savannah-Chatham County Public School System Ulysses Bryant, the chief of police for the entire Savannah-Chatham County Public School System
GARDEN CITY, GA (WTOC) -

A gunman remains at large after a shooting late Friday morning at an Exxon on August Road in Garden City.

Witnesses told WTOC that two men were inside the gas station before the shooting. One man was shot as he was standing in between the gas pumps outside.

The shooting prompted the lockdown of two nearby schools – Mercer Middle School and Groves High School.

The lockdown means that no one is allowed in or out of the school. As of 11:41 a.m. the lockdown at Mercer Middle was lifted and as of 12:37 p.m. the lockdown at Groves High School was lifted, according to SCCPSS spokesman Kurt Hetager. 

Police told WTOC that the suspect took off in the direction of Groves High School. That's when the school district initiated a function of its emergency preparedness plan.

Ulysses Bryant, the chief of police for the entire Savannah-Chatham County Public School System, said the outside doors locked and students were not allowed to leave the classroom during the lockdown.

Once they felt it was safe to do so, the schools went into a modified lock down to allow students to eat lunch. Safety officials say they take these matters very seriously.

"We do not take these situations lightly and one of the things we have found out is you must be able to respond quickly and decisively. When it comes down to matters such as these," Bryant said.

Law enforcement released both lockdowns when they felt that the threat was no longer a concern.

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