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Montgomery County school locked down after police chase


UPDATE: The Montgomery County Sheriff's Office says Missouri State Highway Patrol Troop C identified two suspects and knows their names. The office said no one is in custody at this point and that the suspect have probably left Montgomery County.

Troop C is investigating the case. A Troop C representative declined to release more information, citing the ongoing investigation. The suspects are from the St. Louis area -- one from Wentzville, the patrol said.

ORIGINAL: Jonesburg Elementary School in Montgomery County was on a "modified lockdown" Monday morning as the highway patrol and county deputies sought two men who ran after a Sunday night chase.

The Missouri State Highway Patrol notified Montgomery County deputies that a chase was happening on westbound Interstate 70 Sunday night, according to a sheriff's department news release. Troopers said they were chasing a bronze BMW at speeds higher than 126 mph before the vehicle lost control and crashed into oncoming eastbound traffic, the sheriff's department said.

Witnesses said two men ran from the scene toward the Route Y overpass, according to the sheriff's department. No one was injured in the chase and crash.

Investigators found packaged marijuana and cash in the car and a gun nearby during a search that included the highway patrol and Audrain and Callaway County authorities, according to the release.

Authorities called off the search early Monday and the sheriff's department said it believes the men in the car were picked up by someone else and left the area. The sheriff's department said the school was put on "modified lockdown" as a precaution, meaning no one was allowed into our out of the building.

The superintendent of the Montgomery County R-II School District Michael Gray said they locked down the elementary school as soon as they heard the reports from the sheriff.

"They couldn't guarantee that they weren't still in the area, and they said in their estimation that they were probably gone and had left the area," Gray said. "But nobody had found them yet, nobody knew their whereabouts, so we thought to err on the side of caution and protect our students."

The district canceled an academic competition scheduled for Monday at Jonesburg Elementary school, as well as afternoon preschool classes at the building. Law enforcement will also be present and visible at dismissal.

"We're trying to be as cautious as we can without inconveniencing a lot of people," Gray said. "But I hope they understand that our foremost thought is to make sure their kids stay as safe as possible."

Gray said they had a similar incident a couple of years ago, where a suspect was found near one of their school buildings.

"I would feel very bad and so would a lot of other people if we didn't go on lockdown and they someone gained access to one of our buildings with a lot of children in it."

Gray said the district doesn't plan on keeping the school on lockdown tomorrow unless they receive new information that individuals may still be in the area.

Article Topic Follows: Crime
high speed chase
Missouri state highway patrol

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Matthew Sanders

Matthew Sanders is the digital content director at ABC 17 News.


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