Threats Prompt School Lockdown

By: Tim Schmidt
Posted 4/3/09

Authorities apprehended William Lee Floyd Jr., 37, on Thursday, Feb. 26, around 8 p.m. at a bar in Barnhart, Mo., in Jefferson County. He is in custody in the Warren County Jail. He was scheduled to …

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Threats Prompt School Lockdown


Authorities apprehended William Lee Floyd Jr., 37, on Thursday, Feb. 26, around 8 p.m. at a bar in Barnhart, Mo., in Jefferson County. He is in custody in the Warren County Jail. He was scheduled to make a court appearance Monday, March 2. Warrants were issued for Floyd's arrest last month when he violated his furlough by failing to receive medical treatments for a December 2008 incident when he shot himself in the face after earlier attempting to shoot his wife at their home located in Concord Hill. Floyd told police at the time he planned on committing suicide. Affected school buildings were Marthasville Elementary, Washington Middle School and Washington High School. Harrison said Floyd had contacted his wife and told her he was going to kill her and her four kids. A sheriff's deputy was stationed at Marthasville Elementary Wednesday and Thursday. The lockdown was lifted after Harrison contacted Superintendent Dr. Lori VanLeer Thursday evening notifying her that Floyd was in custody. "In this scenario, the communication was good," Harrison said. "Everybody knew what they were supposed to do. We did everything we could to protect the schools and the kids. Each time we do this is a learning exercise when the threat arrives at a campus." When contacted Friday morning, Marthasville Elementary Principal Laura Bruckerhoff said "school is business as usual." She greeted every parent who drove their children to school and told them the lockdown had been lifted. She declined to discuss the incident further. When the lockdown went into effect Wednesday, VanLeer said the district attempted to notify as many parents as possible alerting them that their kids would need to be picked up. Students were not allowed to walk to or from school and some bus routes were altered. "Some folks might look at this and think we overreacted and some might think we underreacted," VanLeer said. "We'll talk about that as a team." "I'd rather err on the side of caution," she added. Heidi Ridder, a parent of a kindergartner at Marthasville Elementary, believed the school district took the necessary steps to keep the children safe. "I'm glad they took the extra precautions," she said. "They did a lot of extra work." Floyd was charged with second-degree domestic assault and unlawful use of a weapon in the December 2008 incident. After receiving treatment for the wound to his jaw, Floyd was taken into custody by Warren County deputies Dec. 24, 2008. His medical furlough began Jan. 12 and he was expected to undergo reconstructive surgery to repair his disfigured jaw. Harrison, however, said Floyd never made any medical visits. The search for Floyd was intensified, Harrison added, once his department learned of threatening phone calls and text messages to his wife. Harrison noted the family was placed in a shelter for protective purposes during the search for Floyd. Under terms of the medical furlough, Floyd was ordered to reside at his sister's house in Florissant and leave the premises only for medical visits and court appearances. He also could not have contact with his wife. He was scheduled to return to the Warren County Jail on March 12. However, Floyd's furlough was revoked on Jan. 29, according to court documents, and warrants were issued for his arrest. Harrison said last Tuesday, Feb. 24, his department received information that Floyd was in the Jefferson County area. Officers from Warren and Jefferson counties were unable to locate Floyd that evening. A second search on Thursday night led authorities to the bar where Floyd was arrested without incident. Harrison said Floyd had friends and relatives in the Jefferson County area. Warren County Prosecuting Attorney Mike Wright said he doesn't anticipate any new charges to be filed against Floyd.