County-wide public alert about Andover suspect search was inadvertent, Sheriff says

Andover Elementary School was on lockout Tuesday as Anoka County Sheriff’s deputies searched for a man who fled law enforcement and may have had a weapon in the area.

According to the Anoka County Sheriff’s Office, deputies were looking for the man in the area of Hanson and Andover Boulevard. They initially advised everyone to stay indoors, but lifted the shelter in place order just before 3:45 p.m. Tuesday. 

The suspect was not located in this incident, but law enforcement do not believe there is any danger to the general public. 

In a release, the Anoka County County Sheriff said deputies first tried to pull the suspect over in connection with a burglary in Hennepin County, but the driver fled on foot. Law enforcement established a perimeter and a public notification was requested to be sent out to people who lived in the area. 

The Sheriff's Office says the alert was inadvertently sent to the entire county, which it says was a "technology-related issue." The vendor of the notifications is working to identify and resolve the issue. 

An Anoka-Hennepin Public Schools spokesperson said the elementary school was on lockout at the recommendation of law enforcement. Lockout, which is different than lockdown, means the school locks its doors, but operations continue as normal inside. No visitors were allowed at the school during the lockout.