Monticello shooting suspect arrested Tuesday night; lockdown lifted at Lawrence County High School this morning

Published 9:22 am Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Lawrence County High School was on semi-lockdown this morning, according to Monticello Police Chief David Stanley and Lawrence County Sheriff Lessie Butler, but that precautionary measure had been lifted by 9:15 a.m.

Both said, however, there was no immediate threat of danger to students or staff.

Stanley confirmed with Superintendent Tammy Fairburn that the school was on semi-lockdown as a precautionary measure over concerns that a student who witnessed a shooting Tuesday night was in class today. Two males were shot in their vehicle near Family Dollar on Broad Street about 6:30 p.m. A suspect, 22-year-old Demarcus Antowne Pittman, of 60 Mount Holly Road in the Oma community, was arrested about four hours later on two counts of aggravated assault and one count of shooting into a vehicle, Stanley said.

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A school resource officer is on the campus, he said, and recommended that the school be placed on lockdown.

“They told me they didn’t need me and everything is under control,” Stanley said.

“It was just a temporary thing,” Butler said. “They just wanted to be safe and not sorry.”

Stanley said the school was likely taking additional safety measures following the shooting.

He said the two victims — an 18-year-old driver and a 21-year-old passenger — were driving on Hwy. 184, which is Broad Street in town, when Antowne allegedly shot at the car with a handgun, hitting both victims.

The younger male drove them to Lawrence County Hospital, which is about three-fourths of a mile from the scene of the shooting, he said.

That victim was flown to University of Mississippi Medical Center in Jackson where he remains in critical condition. The passenger was in stable condition at Lawrence County Hospital Tuesday night, Stanley said.

The police chief said the victims appeared to be the gunman’s target.

“This was not a random shooting,” Stanley said.

A student who is a person of interest in the shooting “showed up at the school,” Stanley said.

He said the school resource officer put the campus on lockdown “based on the fact that there is a student there who is in the presence of a shooting.”