Arrest made in Wake Tech lockdown

Arrest made; no gun found on campus

kjahner@newsobserver.comJanuary 25, 2012 

The Wake County Sheriff's Office arrested and charged a Garner man with making a domestic threat that led to the 90-minute lockdown of Wake Technical Community College's main campus Tuesday morning.

The threat made by Franklin Delano Rawls Jr., 27, was "under circumstances which would cause a reasonable person to believe the threat was likely to be carried out," the arresting officer wrote in the report.

The Wake Tech student he allegedly threatened told Wake Tech Security, who alerted the sheriff's office around 9 a.m. that there was a man on campus who may have a gun. The 13-building campus at 9101 Fayetteville Road south of Raleigh was shut down - with all classrooms locked and no one allowed on or off the premises - while authorities investigated.

Sheriff's spokeswoman Phyllis Stephens said the threat was domestic, and not a threat on Wake Tech. No gun was found on campus, she said.

Initially, Wake Tech announced on its website that its main campus would be closed until 1 p.m., with no one allowed on or off campus until then. After the lockdown was lifted at 10:30 a.m., classes resumed a normal schedule at 1 p.m.

Rawls is being held at the Wake County jail, his bail set at $500.

Wake Tech spokeswoman Laurie Clowers said Rawls had enrolled at Wake Tech but never registered for classes.

Clowers said that when the threat was reported, the emergency alert system sent text, email and voice messages to its roughly 2,000 students, faculty and employees who had signed up for the service. Also, all Wake Tech computers have an internal pop-up message that appears on the screen, she said, and a text goes out to all senior administrators so they can get in touch with their departments and deans.

Meanwhile law enforcement officers swept the buildings to ensure the security of the campus.

The incident was the second time in this school year that Wake Tech has used its lockdown procedures. Its north campus was locked down when someone reported seeing an armed man in the area. The north campus is located near a hunting ground.

Jahner: 919-829-4822

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