Man Walking with Large Knife Prompts 'Secure the Building' at Woodson

Fairfax City police say there is no threat to the community, but are unable to locate suspect walking with what appeared to be a 12-inch blade.

City of Fairfax Police and Woodson High School officials worked together Wednesday to secure the area after a man was seen walking on Main Street with what appeared to be a 12-inch blade.

City of Fairfax Police Sgt. Joe Johnson said the department received a call from a female driver before 1 p.m. Wednesday, who observed a tall man with dreadlocks and several layers of clothing carrying a "long knife" open in his hands as he walked down Main Street. She said the scene was concerning, especially given his proximity to Woodson High School.

Johnson said officer dispatched to the area within minutes and contacted Woodson High School, which initiated "secure the building" mode — which locks only exterior doors and still allows staff and students to move around the building -- so the suspect couldn't flee into the school during a search.

Frost Middle School and Finance Park were also advised to enter "secure the building" mode, according to an email sent to parents by Woodson High School.

Officers set up a perimeter in the area and conducted a search, but could not locate or identify the suspect. Schools spokesman John Torre said the school was in "secure the building" mode for about 30 minutes, from 1 to 1:30 p.m.

Johnson said there were no reported threats against anyone, and he didn't believe there was a threat to the community.

"Safety of our students is of our utmost concern at all times. We appreciate the quick and professional response of the police and school security in handling this situation," an email from Woodson High School to parents Wednesday said.

Anyone with information about the incident can contact City of Fairfax Police at 703.385.7924.

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Michael Josef Basl December 22, 2012 at 10:18 PM


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