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Active shooter causes lockdown at Bearizona

Posted at 12:27 PM, Mar 27, 2017
and last updated 2017-03-27 16:55:07-04

Reports of an armed suspect in the area of Bearizona has the wildlife park on lockdown. 

According to Bearizona officials, the park was locked down around 11:30 a.m. Monday while authorities search for a dangerous individual last seen in the area. 

The suspect has been identified as John Freeman, he is believed to be armed and dangerous, according to officials. Freeman has a warrant out of Kingman. 

The Yavapai County Sheriff's Office says just before 11 a.m. a K-9 unit tried to stop a car for a traffic violation on Interstate 40 in the Ash Fork area. 

Deputies say the car failed to yield and a male passenger appeared to be thrown from the vehicle and was then detained. 

The car continued on and exceeded speeds of 100 mph and eventually became disabled near Bearizona and crashed into the culvert. 

YCSO says Freeman then fled from the car and fired at least one shot towards deputies with a handgun. 

The wildlife park is attempting to evacuate visitors as it is safe to do so. No one is being allowed to leave or enter the park.

Deputies are asking everyone to avoid the area until the situation has cleared. Schools in the area are on lockdown. 

Several agencies and SWAT teams are coordinating search efforts in the area around I-40 and milepost 165. 

Freeman may be wearing denim shirts and denim pants. 

If anyone sees Freeman, they are asked to call 9-1-1 in the area. The public is also advised to not pick up hitchhikers in the area.