Armed Fort Edward man causes school lockout

October 03, 2017 11:41 PM

“When I got to the school I saw two officers in SWAT gear and they were carrying AR 15s,” said a Fort Edward parent who asked to remain anonymous.

Parents of Fort Edward students were shocked to realize school officials had imposed a lockout Tuesday. 

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For a short time, residents were also asked to stay off the streets according to police. 

“And he said that there was a suspicious character in the area with a gun,” the Fort Edward parent said. “And this is just a precaution for the children because the school is so close.”

Superintendent Daniel Ward said only busses were allowed to take students home.

No students were allowed to walk home. 

Police said the man responsible for the lockout is 41-year-old Devin Pratt.

Police said he had an assault rifle in his hands when Chief Justin Derway arrived to check out a complaint of someone pointing a gun at a dog.

That dog, Trooper, belongs to Pratt's neighbor, Philip Clark.

Bailey Roberts lives in the same Culver Street apartment building as Pratt and said she saw the incident around 9 am.

“I could hear his phone conversation,” Roberts said. “He was saying that the neighbors’ dog was trying to attack his dog when he took her out and that and then the police showed up and they were arguing over the rifle.”

Police said Pratt's gun was confiscated and they determined it was illegal. 

They later learned Pratt threatened to shoot Chief Derway.

“So then they were arguing about the dog, like loud arguing in each other’s faces. And then they left together.”

It is not clear where Pratt is now.

Police believe he is armed.

Meanwhile, Trooper’s owner was shocked to learn about the incident from Roberts once he got home. 

“You know he's a part of the family,” Clark said. “You know you shoot him you shoot me.”

The incident comes a day a day after the Las Vegas shooting massacre, which already had many people on edge. 

“After the incident in Las Vegas it's pretty strange to hear something about that,” Clark said. “Especially the day after.”

Police also said Pratt is driving a rental car, which they describe as a 2017 black Ford Fusion with Pennsylvania license plates.

NewsChannel 13’s media partner, The Post Star reports the Fort Edward town and village hall were also placed on lockdown Tuesday. 


Nia Hamm

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