ALBEMARLE — A crime case that took the community by storm last week has been solved by local officials.
On March 25, the Stanly County Sheriff’s Office announced that it made an arrest in a case that led to an active shooter lockdown throughout Pfeiffer University’s campus on March 24.
Following an investigation by the county’s Criminal Investigations Division, Concord resident Kelvin Wayne Simmons, 45, has been charged with robbery with a dangerous weapon and a false report of mass violence on educational property.
Simmons was taken into custody in Charlotte and transported back to Albemarle’s Ralph McSwain Detention Center with an initial court date of April 2.
Around 1 p.m on March 24, Pfeiffer campus police received an alarming call indicating that a gunman was shooting people on campus with multiple individuals already deceased. Pfeiffer, as well as Gray Stone Day School and other surrounding businesses in Misenheimer, immediately went into a temporary lockdown while officers could arrive at the scene.
Just as officials were arriving at Pfeiffer to complete a security clearance of the entire campus, deputies with the Stanly County Sheriff’s Office received a call at First Bank in Richfield in reference to an active robbery situation. No employees were injured in the altercation as Simmons left with an undisclosed amount of money.
After deputies cleared and searched the entire Pfeiffer campus and did not find anyone with a weapon, the university’s lockdown was lifted around 2 p.m.
Investigators used evidence at the scene of the bank robbery to latch onto Simmons as a suspect for the crime while learning that was also responsible for the fictitious threat of an armed gunman at Pfeiffer. Detectives were able to locate him at the Days Inn on Sunset Rd, near Interstate 77 in north Charlotte, with the assistance of the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigations and the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department.
Per his arrest, he was also served with numerous outstanding warrants from surrounding jurisdictions — he was charged with outstanding warrants from Cabarrus and Rowan counties for robbery with a dangerous weapon, two counts of larceny of motor vehicle, felony larceny, hit and run property damage, and fleeing to elude arrest.
The Stanly County Sheriff’s Office addressed the case on social media on March 25: “We would like to express our appreciation to the Badin Police Dept. Norwood Police Dept, Oakboro Police Dept, Locust Police Dept. Misenheimer Police Dept. Cabarrus County Sheriff’s Office, NC Highway Patrol, NCDMV License and Theft, Stanly County EMS, Station 22 from Richfield, CMPD and the NCSBI.”
“We appreciate the quick and professional response to Pfeiffer University as well as the diligence in protecting students and staff from a possible active shooter threat, as well as assistance in taking the suspect into custody without incident,” the office’s statement continued. “We would also like to share our appreciation to the telecommunications staff at Stanly County 911 for dealing with two high call volume incidents at the same time, and handling both of these flawlessly.”