Child abuse incident leads to lockout at Sparkman High School and Middle School

The lockout lasted from approximately 11:30 p.m. to 12:30 p.m.

Posted: Dec 13, 2018 12:01 PM
Updated: Dec 13, 2018 4:20 PM

UPDATE (3:37 p.m.) John Mclemore, 20, was arrested and booked into the Madison County Jail Thursday. He is charged with Aggravated Child Abuse and his bond is set at $30,000. The suspect is the father of the child who was injured.

Around 11:16 a.m. on Thursday, HEMSI and medics responded to a home on Burwell Road and found an injured two-month-old child. The child was taken to a local hospital and then transported to UAB. 

Investigators said the father was believed to be suicidal and on foot in the area. He was apprehended around 12:30 p.m. after returning to the residence.

The lockout lasted from approximately 11:30 p.m. to 12:30 p.m. Law enforcement will contact the school when something like this happens, and that’s when it goes on precautionary lockout.

Students still go to class during a lockout, and the school basically functions as normal except no one comes in or out. A lockout is less severe than a lockdown. No threat was made directly to the school.


Sparkman High School and Middle School have been placed on a lockout due to a potential threat in the area of Burwell Road, Tim Hall with the Madison County Schools system said.

Hall said during a lockout, the exterior of the school is secured. Students are inside the building and school is continuing as normal. A notification will be sent once the lockout is lifted.

Lieutenant Donny Shaw with the Madison County Sheriff's Office said the lockout is a precaution after an incident on Burwell Road in which a child was injured and taken to Huntsville Hospital Women and Children's. He said an investigator is on the way to the hospital to talk to the child's grandparents about what happened.

Shaw said they are trying to find the suspect who injured the child, so the schools were placed on lockout as a precaution. This case is still under investigation, and WAAY 31 will provide updates.

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