By Joe Johnson
The Barrow County Sherriff's Office announced that it has identified the three intruders who caused three schools in Winder to be locked down Thursday morning.
Sheriff Jud Smith said Friday afternoon that his and other area law enforcement agencies were attempting to locate the suspects.
“The Barrow County Sheriff’s Office has been working tirelessly since yesterday morning to identify the three individuals who illegally entered Winder-Barrow High School,” he said. “We are proud to report that all three have been positively identified and are currently facing several criminal charges stemming from the incident. We are now working closely with other area law enforcement agencies to apprehend these individuals.”
The suspects were identified by the BCSO as Lamonte Dianell Smith, 21, of Lawrenceville; Jaywan T. Edwards, 19, of Columbus and Christian Lebron Williams, 20, of Norcross.
All three are charged in warrants with one count each of obstruction, criminal trespass, disruption of public schools, and loitering in a school safety zone.
The three schools went on lockdown as a precaution Thursday morning after three entered the high school with a student who attends the school, according to the sheriff.
Smith said the motive for the suspects entering the school was unknown.
“Staff and students are being reminded to not let anyone in the building other than the front door so they can be properly checked and vetted,” Smith said.
Once inside the building, the trespassers were confronted by the BCHS resource officer in the gymnasium, but they fled when the officer tried to find out who they were.
Barrow County deputies and Winder police officers subsequently responded to the high school, located at 272 N. 5th Avenue in Winder, and immediately surrounded the school to search for the intruders. As a precautionary measure, Winder-Barrow High School was locked down, as were both Russell Middle School and Winder Elementary School, which are located nearby.
After leaving Winder, two of the same intruders showed up at Jackson County High School, the principal said in a notification to parents.
“Upon realizing the young adult males did not attend school at Jackson County High School, the persons exited our building and returned to a parked vehicle and left our campus,” the message read.
The suspects had yet to be located as of 4 p.m. Friday, according to Sheriff Smith..