Belmont County man arrested near school with shotgun and ammunition; School went on lockdown

Belmont County
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October 31 2021 11:59 pm

BELMONT COUNTY, Ohio (WTRF) The call came in at 6:43 a.m. Thursday.

A citizen spotted a man dressed in dark clothing, carrying a shotgun, walking near the Powhatan Elementary School.

The Belmont County Sheriff’s Department, Shadyside and Powhatan Police and the Ohio State Highway Patrol responded.

The school was locked down and officers were placed at the school for protection.

They found 38-year-old Donald Eugene LeMasters walking in a nearby wooded area, still carrying a shotgun with ammunition.

Chief Deputy James Zusack says LeMasters was taken into custody without incident.

Officers then went to LeMasters’ house to check on his two children, ages 9 and 13.

Zusack says the children were found living in deplorable conditions amidst clutter, with no water or electric service at the house.

He says Children’s Services removed the children from the house.

LeMasters is in the Belmont County Jail on charges of having weapons under a disability, having weapons while intoxicated, endangering children and inducing panic.

Zusack noted that LeMasters is also wanted in a warrant out of Monroe County for failure to appear.

The chief deputy commended the person who called 911, “because that was the perfect example of  if you see something, say something.”

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