Hayesville, NC - (August 28, 2019) The Clay County Sheriff’s Office received information late Wednesday afternoon of a potential threat to Clay County Schools, it was an immediate all available hands on deck response to put an end to it before it began. This was a rapidly evolving scenario that took a lot of effort to coordinate resources in a short amount of time. Ultimately those resources included School Administration, Clay and Cherokee county Sheriff’s Offices, NC State Highway Patrol, ATF, NC State Bureau of Investigation and ADAs from District Attorney Ashley Welch’s office.
Our students and community did an excellent job by reporting the information immediately, we are very thankful and fortunate that it was brought to law enforcements attention when it was. Not only did work immediately begin to identify and locate the source of the threat but efforts were being made to document and preserve evidence as well as setting a plan into motion to confront the source. As information developed every aspect of the scenario was considered and prioritized with the safety of our students the schools and the general public being of the highest priority.
Everyone involved was fully committed and remained on scene actively working their assigned responsibilities well into the early morning hours of Thursday. Law Enforcement in two separately organized groups simultaneously made contact at two locations approximately 10 miles apart. The suspect was located, identified and taken into custody without incident in the Andrews, NC area at approximately 12:30 AM and a search warrant was executed at that residence. A second person in the company of the suspect at the time was temporarily detained and later released when it was determined this person was not involved. Consideration was given to the possibility of more than one suspect; however, no information was developed to corroborate that as a credible scenario.
At this time the investigation is still ongoing and additional information will be released as it becomes available. As always, the Clay County Sheriff’s Office is committed to keeping our community informed with timely and accurate information. Above all else though, the men and women of the Clay County Sheriff’s Office are dedicated to the safety of our community and stand ready at all times to answer that call.
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