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10 South Carolina schools locked down for manhunt

10 schools locked down in Greenville, SC, while police search for man who fired at officer By The Associated Press

GREENVILLE, S.C. (AP) ' A gunman fired on a South Carolina police officer checking on a suspicious license plate Friday, causing 10 schools in Greenville to go on lockdown.

However, some began reopening their doors to some visitors after a couple of hours.

The shooting happened around 10 a.m. at an apartment complex, police spokeswoman Alia Urps said. The Greenville officer returned fire and was not hit. It's unknown if the suspect was hit. She was unsure how many shots were fired.

The suspect was able to run into nearby woods and hasn't been seen since. Several dozen officers who happened to be in a training session nearby rushed to help search, authorities said.

She said an officer checking license plates in a hotel parking lot found that a plate on a GMC Yukon was listed for a Honda. When she went inside the hotel to inquire about the driver, the suspect drove off in the SUV. The officer got into her patrol car and tried to pull the suspect over on Interstate 85, but he sped up, and she abandoned the chase, Urps said.

"We do not pursue for minor traffic infractions, and at that point, that's all that we had," she said.

Another officer found the vehicle in an apartment parking lot, and as she approached the building, the suspect shot at her, she said.

Police have determined the SUV was stolen from Spartanburg, a city about 30 miles east.

Officers with the Greenville County Sheriff's office, the State Law Enforcement Division and highway patrol are also participating in the search, Urps said.

Four public schools, three private schools, two colleges and a special education center were placed on lockdown.

Schools were locked down in several different directions because officers weren't sure where the suspect went.

"This is not around the corner from a school. I don't want to give you that impression. This is several miles from any of our schools," Oby Lyles, spokesman for Greenville County school district, told The Associated Press. "Everybody's fine."

Officials said it was a precaution, and none of the students or teachers appeared to be in danger. Schools began shifting to a partial lockdown after about two hours. That means students and employees had to stay inside, but some visitors known to staff could enter through the front office.

On Friday afternoon, after consulting with officers, district officials said schools would dismiss students under their normal schedule. Several officers were at the school as a precaution. Students who live in areas barricaded by officers weren't put on buses or allowed to walk home. Staff will supervise them at the school until officers clear the barricades or parents pick them up, according to a news release.

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