Wisconsin, Illinois, Iowa schools monitoring manhunt

Published: Apr. 10, 2017 at 5:57 PM CDT
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Schools in Wisconsin and East Dubuque enacted soft lock-downs after police announced they were trying to track down a gun thief.

Joseph Jakubowski has allegedly made threats against schools and public officials.

The Rock County, Wisconsin Sheriff's Office says he stole more than a dozen handguns and rifles from a Janesville store last week and then set his car on fire.

They also say Jakubowski expressed anti-religious views in a 161 page manifesto he sent to the White House.

Officials at the Southwestern Wisconsin School District in Hazel Green put their schools on a soft lock-down Monday after becoming aware of the potentially dangerous man.

Superintendent John Costello said, "We're taking extra precaution for people that enter into our building and making sure that they state their business and why they're here."

They're also ensuring all students stay inside throughout the school day.

"We currently have students that walk back and forth from our high school to our middle school, so we just didn't feel that that was a situation that would be beneficial for them to be out and about in the event that the gentleman is at large and in our community," Costello explained.

Elaine Timmerman dropped off students at the Elementary/Middle School on Monday. She said she works down the street at a funeral home where those students were helping with mass.

She says the whole situation frightens her.

"It is scary, we just hope and pray that they find him real soon," Timmerman said.

Superintendent Costello says the school district will talk with the Hazel Green Police Department about when to lift the lock-down.

He said, "If not we will be in it for the remainder of the day and we will assess what tomorrow's gonna bring."

The East Dubuque School District took measures today similar to those in Hazel Green.

The Dubuque Community School District did not put schools under a lock-down on Monday. They say the Dubuque police department told them there's no credible information that the man is in the area.

Still, because of Dubuque's close proximity to Wisconsin, the DCSD Director of School and Community Relations Mike Cyze says the school district will be watching the situation closely.