Man in custody following threat at Martin Methodist College

Man in custody following threat at Martin Methodist College (Image 1)

A 24-year-old man is in police custody following a threat that prompted a lockdown at Martin Methodist College in Pulaski.

The school was placed on lockdown around 9 a.m. Monday after James Burdick made a threatening phone call to his wife, a student at the school.

Pulaski Police Chief John Dickey told News 2 Burdick referenced a gun. The school was placed on lockdown as a precaution.

Burdick was arrested in Lawrence County and charged with harassment. Other charges are possible.

The all-clear at Martin Methodist College was given just before 10 a.m. The school tweeted “The emergency condition is over. Return to normal activities.”

No one was injured.

“Safety is foremost in our thinking,” college president Dr. Ted Brown said. “We are glad it happened the way that it did.”

Burdick never made it to campus. Lawrence County deputies took him into custody in Lawrenceburg.

Dr. Brown, who also teaches a freshman level class, said students were understandably unnerved by the situation.

“They were a little nervous,” he said. “But, I explained to them what happened and they felt greatly relieved that the college had taken this step to keep them safe.”

Senior Maggie Lane was on campus when the lockdown started.

“It is scary because you don't know what is going on because you don't know if someone is on campus or off campus,” she said. “But, I do want to say that our campus did make a good effort in making everyone feel safe.”

Lane is also Editor-in-Chief of “The RedHawk Reporter,” the college's student run newspaper. She said during the lockdown campus security could be seen keeping students inside buildings.

“Everyone was just in class waiting patiently to see what was up,” she said.

Martin Methodist College Senior Tiffany Workman heard about the lockdown through the alert system Monday before coming to class.

“I was kind of worried because I was supposed to be coming to school soon and I didn't know if I should go or stay at home,” she said. “I just wanted to know why and if it was a misunderstanding.”

Martin Methodist College, located on West Madison Street, is a four-year liberal arts college in Pulaski, Giles County, about 75 miles south of Nashville.

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