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Man sought in Audubon Elementary lockdown in custody

Brevard deputies investigate threat

MERRITT ISLAND, Fla. – Dozens of parents led their children out of Audubon Elementary School on Thursday as Brevard County sheriff's deputies remained posted around the campus due to possible threats being reviewed by investigators.

The students were being released as the Brevard County Sheriff's Office issued an alert for 30-year-old Dwan Jerome Thomas III. Thomas was wanted on unrelated charges out of Cocoa Beach, and is also accused of making the threatening phone call to someone, which was then relayed to someone who works at the school.

Thomas was taken into custody Thursday evening, authorities said.

"The school is in a precautionary lockdown. The Brevard County Sheriff’s Office is currently on scene and the school is secure," Cpl. John Martinez said in a statement.

The 700-student Merritt Island school, located at 1201 N. Banana River Dr., was placed on a precautionary lockdown around 8:30 a.m. Brevard County Chief Deputy Doug Waller could be seen talking with concerned parents, including several who were led into a nearby church cafeteria to be briefed on the investigation.

Parents were able to remove students from the school.

The investigation centered around a possible domestic dispute in which a threat was either made or passed on.
Brevard County school district officials said they did not know if the threat involved a school employee or someone else, referring any questions about the case to the Sheriff’s Office.

Brevard County Public Schools' public information officer said Audubon Elementary will be on its normal schedule Friday.

Thomas was taken to the County Jail Complex, where he is being held without bond.

He is charged with aggravated stalking, domestic violence, aggravated assault on a law enforcement officer, reckless driving, violation of community control and aggravated fleeing and eluding.

“I am very proud of the entire Brevard Public School team who were incredible today. Dr. Blackburn, his staff and the Audubon team ensured the children were safe and calm during the lockdown," Sheriff Wayne Ivey said. "I would also like to commend the parents and guardians who were calm and assisted the school's staff and our deputies to effectively check out and pick up the children without impacting the security protocols. Lastly, I can’t say enough about our East Precinct deputies and Fugitive Team who immediately secured the school, located the suspect and put him behind bars, where he belongs."