UPDATE:  Mansfield Police Chief Gary Hobbs has told KEEL News Mansfield Elementary-Middle students were released as normal this afternoon.

The area in and around the school was cleared after the search for a robbery suspect revealed he was not in the area.

Hobbs said a six-foot-tall black male forced an employee inside the Verizon Wireless store across the street from the school, then robbed the business of an unknown amount of money.

The man, armed with a handgun, was wearing all-black clothing and a bandanna over his face. He's described only as a six-foot-tall black male. He was last seen crossing Hwy. 509 headed east on foot. Authorities continue to search for him. They haven't identified him yet.

ORIGINAL STORY:  A DeSoto Parish school has been placed on lockdown while authorities search for a robbery suspect.

Superintendent Cade Brumley told KEEL News Mansfield Elementary Middle is the school affected. He said students and staff are safe and secure inside the building. He said this is something the schools are prepared for.

"This is just something that we train for, and it happens to be a real-life situation," said Dr. Brumely, "so we are carrying out with our procedures."

Dr. Brumley said the DeSoto Parish Sheriff's Office, area fire departments and Mansfield police are all on the hunt for the suspect.

We'll keep you updated on this developing story.