MARKED TREE (KAIT) - The Marked Tree School District acted quickly after learning a man wanted for attempted murder is on the loose.
According to High School Principal Matt Wright, the district took enhanced security measures today as Toney Barrier is still at large.
Marked Tree Police Chief Michael Matlock said Barrier is accused of stabbing a woman in a home on Liberty Street Sunday morning.
He said the stabbing happened right across the street from the school.
According to Matlock, Barrier has an "extensive" criminal history and is considered dangerous to the entire community.
Because of this, students stayed inside the building. They remained inside their classrooms for a portion of the day.
"Things have been pretty easy until about 25 minutes ago," Wright said around 1 p.m. on Monday. "We received a call from the police chief and they notified us that they thought they knew where the gentleman was. So, we immediately shut the building down."
After police investigated the lead, they did not find the suspect; however, the school still remained cautious.
"The only people that are coming in are being brought in by teachers," Wright said. "We have extra teachers out back to ensure our kids are safe. While we are going to proceed with business as normal, we are going to make a few alterations to the day to minimize traffic and make sure kids are where they are supposed to be, so if something does happen, we can ensure their safety."
Wright said these alterations will remain until Barrier is captured and parents can expect a heightened teacher presence at drop-off and pick-up times.
Anyone with information on the suspect's whereabouts should contact the Marked Tree Police Department at (870) 358-2024.
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