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story.lead_photo.caption Members of the Garland County sheriff's office Tactical Response Team move down Spring Street near Cutter Morning Star Elementary School Friday, January 23, 2015. A man driving a pick-up truck had some kind of encounter with a deputy then fled on foot prompting a multi-agency manhunt. - Photo by Richard Rasmussen

2:00 p.m. update:

Cutter Morning Star School near Hot Springs is on "soft" lockdown Friday afternoon after a man fled from an officer earlier in the day.

During a "soft" lockdown, students must remain in the classroom and are not allowed outside, as of 1:50 p.m., according to a statement posted on the district's website.

A statement released at 2 p.m. said that the Garland County sheriff's office received a call at 5:34 a.m. from a Fountain Lake School District employee who said he was following a man who stole fuel from the district.

The employee said he had been shot by the man, Garland County sheriff's office spokesman Scott Hinojosa said in an email.

The shooting happened after the employee had followed the man several miles off campus, Hinojosa said.

Deputies located the man in the 2800 block of Spring Street in Hot Springs when the man attempted to hit deputies with his vehicle, Hinojosa said.

Officers fired shots at the man's vehicle when the man struck a deputy's patrol until and left the scene on foot, according to the statement.

Hinojosa said police do have a person of interest but do not have positive identification of the man.

SWAT teams cleared all school buildings and determined the wanted man is not on campus, the statement said.

The district asked parents not to come to the school since they are still locked down, and said they will post another message about 2:45 p.m. with dismissal procedures, according to the statement.

Earlier:

A number of law enforcement members are continuing to search the area around Cutter Morning Star School near Hot Springs for a man who fled from an officer Friday morning.

A Fountain Lake School District employee found someone stealing gas from the district's bus barn about 5:30 a.m., according to a statement on the district's Facebook page.

The employee followed the person off campus and down Arkansas 7, according to the Facebook post.

The Garland County sheriff's office responded and a person rammed a deputy's patrol unit and shots were fired near Cutter Morning Star, spokesman Scott Hinojosa said.

Hinojsa said he couldn't confirm whether the shots were fired by deputies or by the person police are trying to apprehend.

School officials confirmed that Cutter Morning Star was on lockdown and that parents have been notified.

As of 12:40 p.m., Hinojosa said, the district was still on lockdown but officers moved the search east of the school's campus.

The Lakeside School District in the area locked down earlier as a precaution while police conduct the search, Lakeside Superintendent Shawn Cook said.

Cook said the district locked down all schools after receiving a call from a Cutter Morning Star official saying the schools there are also on lockdown while police search for a fugitive in the wooded area near the campus.

Cook said it is the district's procedure to lock down when a neighboring school is also in lockdown.

A Lakeside School official said the lockdown was lifted a little before 1 p.m. Friday.

Photo by Beth Reed
Law enforcement agencies prepare to search a wooded area, in the background, for a man who fled from a Garland County sheriff’s office early Friday morning. The man reportedly rammed the deputy's patrol unit, and fired shots at the deputy before fleeing into the woods, according to our reporters.
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