UPDATE: Masked man identified, schools no longer on lockdown
IOTA – Two Iota schools are no longer on lockdown after authorities removed a masked man who walked onto the campuses earlier today.
The suspect has been identified as Garrett West, 21, of Basile.
More information about the suspect and the morning's events have also been released.
West, a former student, waled on campus with a mask on, a wig and overalls, according to deputies. He also had a belt on that had knives and an ax hanging from it.
Debra Siebert, principal of Iota Middle School, allegedly was the person who stopped West once she saw him. She calmly requested he remove his weapons and he did; then his mask and once again he did. When he removed the mask Siebert recognized him as one of the school's former students.
West and Siebert then went into an office where she could speak to him. Another teacher was also brought in after West requested to speak to them as well.
Before going into the office, Siebert told office workers to put the school on lockdown.
No one knows why West went to the school, but deputies believe it is a place where he felt safe when he was younger.
West will be charged with two counts of terrorism.
IOTA – Both Iota Middle School and Iota High School remain on lockdown after school officials say a masked man walked onto the campus.
Witnesses say the suspect went to the high school and knocked on the principal's door. After there was no answer, he went inside the middle school where he was detained until authorities arrived.
Both the suspect and his vehicle have been removed from the school. The superintendent says the suspect is a former student.
There are no official reports of whether or not the suspect was armed but witnesses say he was seen with a machete.
Updates to come when more information is released.