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Gun report puts 2 Mint Hill schools on lockdown

Two Mint Hill schools were put on lockdown for about 90 minutes Tuesday morning after someone reported seeing a man carrying a gun in the area, according to Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools officials and Mint Hill police.

The lockdown was lifted shortly before noon when police were not able to find anyone with a gun, despite a ground and air search that involved three law enforcement agencies.

Authorities say there was never any apparent threat for Mint Hill Middle School or Queens Grant Charter High School.

Lt. John Rowell of the Mint Hill Police said someone called authorities about 10:15 a.m. and reported seeing a thin man, about 5 feet 6 to 5 feet 8, walking along Idlewild Road near Kale Lane. The caller said the man was carrying a red backpack and a shotgun and was in a heavily wooded area, about a quarter-mile to half-mile from Mint Hill Middle School.

Rowell said the two schools were put on lockdown as a precaution.

The area of the reported sighting is on the Matthews-Mint Hill line, and police from both towns took part in a search. Rowell said they were joined by Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools police and the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police helicopter.

“No subject was located,” Rowell said.

The lockdown was lifted shortly before noon.

CMS officials said a partial lockdown was kept in effect at Mint Hill Middle for the remainder of the day, with extra security on hand. The partial lockdown means students and staff were able to move around inside the school, but nobody was permitted outdoors.

Both schools are on Idlewild Road, between Margaret Wallace and Mint Hill-Matthews roads.

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