By Tim Ghianni
(Reuters) - Kentucky authorities on Friday searched for a gunman who killed three people in a robbery at a pawn shop, forcing a lock-down for several hours at schools including nearby Centre College in Danville, Kentucky.
The three people were shot and killed on Friday morning at a pawn shop in Danville, a city of about 16,000 about 35 miles southwest of Lexington, Kentucky, authorities said.
"It was a robbery and he has not been apprehended yet," said Janice Spears, office manager at the Boyle County, Kentucky, Sheriff's office in Danville.
Spears said the names of the victims were not available and Danville police were leading the investigation.
Boyle County Sheriff Marty Elliott told local media that one of the three adults killed was a customer of the pawn shop. Two children in the building at the time of the shooting were unharmed.
Centre College, a liberal arts school a few blocks away, was locked down for several hours as a precaution but classes resumed on Friday afternoon, it said on its website.
The Danville elementary and secondary schools also were locked down as a precaution, but the lock-down was lifted later, the district said.
U.S. authorities have been on alert following a spate of shootings in recent days including one on Monday at Navy Yard in Washington that left 12 dead, and a suspected gang attack in Chicago on Thursday evening that left 13 people wounded including a three-year-boy.
On Wednesday night, campus police at the sprawling University of Wisconsin in Madison warned students to stay indoors and shelter in place following a report of shots fired near the school. The shooting turned out to be a robbery nearby in which no one was hurt.
(Reporting by Tim Ghianni in Nashville; Editing by David Bailey, Greg McCune and James Dalgleish)