UPDATE: Whitwell schools will open Thursday

MARION , Tenn. (WDEF) — Marion County Schools Superintendent Mark Griffith has confirmed that Whitwell schools will be open Thursday. He assures parents and students that there will be extra police on campus, and the schools will operate in a kind of “soft lock down.”

This comes after schools closed Wednesday as multiple law enforcement agencies still searched for 42-year-old Dewayne Halfacre. Halfacre is wanted in Rutherford County for an armed robbery. He has managed to elude police for three days.

Tennessee Highway Patrol and TBI are still very much involved in the investigation and search.

Halfacre was last spotted at Scott’s Ace Hardware on Highway 283.

The community is just waiting, like the police, until he shows himself again.

This small community has been buzzing and swapping stories and theories at gas stations and fast food restaurants.

“Everybody’s been in a panic,” said Darin Rogers, who works at the nearby Raceway. “I mean, they canceled school. The cops you know every few hours or so have just been going down the road going after a different lead or different possibility. It’s caused chaos. We’re not used to this kind of things around here.”

Austin Smart works at Subway and had a front row seat to the excitement Tuesday.

“I’ve never seen that many cops before in my life, not going to lie. Full body armor on, just walking around with assault rifles and stuff,” Smart remembered. “I mean it was kinda of scary, but then again, it was kind of cool at the same time.”

Locals have their own ideas of where he is and how to catch him — some more humorous than others.

“I think he’s just hiding in the trees somewhere, and just laughing at all the cops,” Smart said.

Smart posted a picture on Facebook of his makeshift trap, enticing Halfacre with a bottle of Sun Drop and a tenderloin biscuit.

Categories: Crime, Local News, Marion County

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