STATEMENT FROM DR. MATTHEW WENDT, SUPERINTENDENT OF SCHOOLS
January 17, 2017
Dear FPS Family Members:
I want to provide our school community with communication regarding today’s events that impacted many staff members, parents/guardians, and students. Periodically, circumstances occur within the community that affect our schools, and when possible, I want to personally communicate about those events and the response from Fayetteville Public Schools.
This morning at 4:42 a.m., Fayetteville police responded to a disturbance call at a residence on Saddlehorn Avenue. When officers arrived, a male adult exited the home and fired shots at the officers on the scene. The officers were not injured and the house/property was cleared.
As details of the situation emerged, FPS leadership and communications staff members were immediately in contact with police. Our strong partnership helped to determine the best course of action to ensure the safety of students, parents/guardians and employees.
As the location was near Asbell Elementary School, precautions were taken, including police officers and School Resource Officers at the campus throughout the day, and a photograph of the suspect was provided to us. The suspect was determined by police to have no connections to Asbell Elementary School.
Police then notified the school district that the suspect could be present in the vicinity of Holt Middle School, Holcomb Elementary, and potentially, Owl Creek School. SROs were dispatched to those locations. These schools, including Asbell Elementary, were placed on a “perimeter lockdown,” meaning students are kept inside the building during the school day for all activities. Parents are allowed to enter the school during perimeter lockdown.
Fayetteville Public Schools works well with our local law enforcement to ensure that the safety of children and adults is a priority. I extend my personal gratitude and appreciation to all of our staff members assisting FPS today. Thank you to the school’s administration, faculty, and staff members for your patience, care, and support.
As always, if you have any questions, please call me at (479) 444-3000 or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.