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Niagara County deputies still searching for person of interest

Christopher M. Wright.

Christopher M. Wright.

PENDLETON — Niagara County Sheriff's deputies called off the search Wednesday for Christopher M. Wright, a person of interest in an ongoing investigation.

A search occurred in and around Wright's home in the 5100 block of Oakwood Drive Wednesday after reports that he was despondant and may harm himself, deputies reported.

Starpoint schools were placed on lockout as a precautionary measure, deputies said.

The search of Wright's home by the sheriff's Emergency Response Team was negative.

The search continued with sheriff and State Police K-9 units and the sheriff helicopter. Authorities believe the man is not armed, but may harm himself.

Undersheriff Michael J. Filicetti described Wright as white, 44 years old, 5-foot-8 and 210 pounds, blond hair and blue eyes. He is a suspect in a pending criminal investigation, Filicetti said.

The search was called off shortly after dusk, deputies reported.

 

The operation began at 11:43 a.m. Wednesday, when deputies received a call from a family member saying the man was in danger of harming himself.

Police block off Oakwood Drive in Pendleton. (Larry Kensinger/Special to The News)

Police block off Oakwood Drive in Pendleton. (Larry Kensinger/Special to The News)

Starpoint schools, located two miles away, were placed on precautionary lockout and the students were released in a controlled and supervised dismissal process. High school and middle school students were released at the normal time and dismissal for kindergarten through fifth-grade bus students was slightly delayed, said officials, who added that parent pick-up for K-5 students was expected to proceed as normal.

Students who live on Oakwood Drive remained in school and residents who lived in the area were asked to wait at the Wendelville Fire Company, said Filicetti.

Starpoint said school will be open Thursday, but administrators will continue to be vigilant of the ongoing search.

The road was reopened at about 4 p.m. after the search of the home was completed.

During the lockout, the district said no one was permitted to enter the buildings, although normal activities continued within all buildings.

Niagara County Sheriff James Voutour tweeted Wednesday afternoon: "A lockout at schools means business as usual but no one allowed to enter for the time being. No threat to school at this time."

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