Lehigh Valley

Lockdown lifted at Bethlehem schools

Freedom, East Hills and BAVTS are affected

BETHLEHEM TWP., Pa. - The Bethlehem Area School District has announced that the lockdown has been lifted at three schools, and the district attorney said the police activity is linked to Wednesday's fatal shooting in Lehigh Township.

The school district announced that Freedom High School, East Hills Middle School and the Bethlehem Area Vocational-Technical School was on lockdown due to police activity in a nearby neighborhood.

The Northampton Community College in the 3800 block of Green Pond Road has also notified students of police activity at Oakland and Hecktown roads, asking people to avoid the area.

Northampton County District Attorney John Morganelli confirmed Thursday that the police activity is relation to the deadly shooting Wednesday night n the 500 block of Longacre Drive in the Cherryville section of Lehigh Township.

Morganelli said he could not comment on whether the shooter was seen in the area except to say that police "have a situation right now."

Morganelli said he believes police "have it contained."

Pennsylvania State Police were in Bushkill Township overnight outside a Cherry Court home in relation to the shooting. Authorities could be see leaving that area about 7:30 a.m.

Bethlehem schools Superintendent Joseph Roy said the incident is not on school grounds. The Northampton County 911 center notified the Freedom principal there was an incident in a nearby neighborhood and that the school should go on lockdown, he said.

"Township and city police are involved in managing the situation and maintaining the safety of students and staff," according to a notice on the school district website. "More information will be provided as is shared by local authorities."

The school district lifted the lockdown about 10:30 a.m.

Roy said high school students, who arrive earlier than the middle school students, are being kept in their classrooms. Any middle school students who were being dropped off were taken inside the school and seven busloads of arriving students were first diverted to the Giant parking lot on Route 191 before heading to Liberty High School in Bethlehem, he said.

Roy said police are on school grounds, but there is no direct threat to the schools.

Officials at Freedom High School said rumors of a school bus fire were unfounded.

Lehigh Township Police Chief Scott Fogel said the shooting happened about 6:30 p.m. in the 500 block of Longacre Drive. The shooting left a man dead and his wife wounded.

Fogel said Wednesday that authorities were fairly certain they know who the identity of the suspect. Authorities have not identified the suspect.

Return to wfmz.com as more details become available.

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