Whiteville City Schools went into lockdown mode about 10:30am Thursday. A school spokesperson told NewsChannel 3 the district was notified by law enforcement that a prisoner escaped from work release. All five Whiteville public schools were quickly locked down. Students were supposed to be released at Noon for a staff development day. Instead, they stayed put at school until about 4:00pm, when school buses began bringing them home. The Department of Correction is now searching for inmate Archie Funderburk. Funderburk, 39, was assigned to a Department of Correction medium custody road squad that was working along N.C. 701 near Whiteville. Funderburk ran from the crew around 10 am Thursday, and officers fired several times at him. It is unknown at this time if he was hit. He was serving a one year sentence for larceny after breaking and entering. He was due for release in February. Funderburk was convicted in Union County and admitted to prison on July 15, 2008. He is a medium-custody inmate assigned to Columbus Correctional Institution in Whiteville. Anyone with information on Funderburk’s whereabouts is asked to contact local law enforcement or Columbus Correctional Institution at (910) 642-3285.
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