DOWN EAST — Schools in the eastern part of Carteret County were on a precautionary lockdown for a while Friday morning while the County Sheriff’s Office searched for a fugitive whose vehicle was found in the area with weapons inside.

The lockdown, which reportedly began around 8:45 a.m., was lifted about 10:40 a.m., according to officials.

According to a CCSO release sent around 11:20 a.m. Friday, deputies are searching for Richard Kelly Murphrey, 35, of Gloucester. He is reportedly wanted on numerous warrants, including as a habitual felon, carrying a concealed weapon and numerous drug charges.

Sheriff Asa Buck told the News-Times someone had given the CCSO a tip about the whereabouts of Mr. Murphrey Friday morning, prompting several schools in the area to go into precautionary lockdown. Those schools included Atlantic Elementary, Smyrna Elementary, Harkers Island Elementary, East Carteret High, Beaufort Middle and Beaufort Elementary schools.

“We found his vehicle, but we have not found him, so we put the schools on lockdown,” the sheriff said.

The lockdown was lifted when deputies learned Mr. Murphrey was no longer in the immediate area.

Officials say there is no threat to the safety of students or personnel at the schools.

The sheriff’s office described Mr. Murphrey as 5 feet 10 inches tall and 145 pounds, with brown hair and blue eyes. Anyone with information about his whereabouts should contact the CCSO or their local law enforcement agency.


This is a developing report. 


(Previous report)

BEAUFORT — The Carteret County Sheriff's Office announced around 10:38 a.m. Friday the lockdowns at eastern Carteret County schools have been lifted.

Schools included in the precautionary lockdown were East Carteret High School, Atlantic Elementary School, Smyrna Elementary School, Harkers Island Elementary School, Beaufort Elementary School and Beaufort Middle School. According to reports, the schools had been on lockdown since about 8:45 a.m.

Multiple officials have stated there is no threat to the safety of students at this time.


previous report

BEAUFORT — East Carteret High School is on lockdown Friday morning as a precaution due to an ongoing situation in the area.

Beaufort Elementary and Beaufort Middle schools have suspended outdoor activities for the time being, according to reports.

An ECHS official confirmed to the News-Times the school is on lockdown but there is no threat to the school at this time.

Carteret County Sheriff Asa Buck said his office is engaged in a search for a fugitive whose car was located in a Down East area.


This is a developing report.

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