Toy weapon prompted lockdown of 4 Berkeley Co. schools

BERKELEY COUNTY, SC (WCSC) - A report that a Goose Creek High School student may have a gun placed that school and three others on lockdown Thursday morning.

The lockdowns at Goose Creek High, Howe Hall AIMS, Sedgefield Middle and Mt. Holly Elementary Schools have resumed normal schedules, according to district spokeswoman Katie Orvin.

A message from the Goose Creek High School principal stated that while no student was found to have a gun, a toy gun was found in the bushes at a nearby CVS Pharmacy. School officials believe it was the toy gun that other students observed and reported.

Leaders at Goose Creek High received the report and placed the school on lockdown to ensure safety until the student in question could be located, Orvin said.

“The student was eventually located by law enforcement outside of the school campus, but after completing a search, no hand gun was found in the student’s possession,” Orvin said in a statement."

The investigation into the incident is ongoing and more information may be released, she said.

“With safety and security as our highest priority, we take all reports that pertain to the safety and security of our school seriously," Orvin said. "We appreciate the cooperation and support of everyone who is helping to keep our school safe. We ask that you continue to encourage your student to report any concerns to their teachers and administrators.”

The district posted a message about the lockdown to its Twitter page at 9:59 a.m.

The Berkeley County Sheriff’s Office has not yet provided further details.

The full message from the principal of Goose Creek High School can be found below:

This is Principal Washington. I am calling because it is important to me that you hear information directly from me concerning what happened on our campus today. Per the messaging you received from our central office, we did receive a report that a student may have been in possession of a handgun. The school was placed on lockdown to ensure student safety until the student could be located. After locating the student off campus, the student was searched. The student did not have a handgun in their possession. We have now learned from law enforcement that they did locate a toy gun in the bushes at CVS. Again, this was a toy gun located outside of CVS, not a real weapon. At this time, we believe that it was the toy gun that others students observed and reported. I very much appreciate and commend our students who came forward to report what they observed. Toy guns can look very similar to real handguns, and today those students helped ensure our campus safety. Please continue to encourage your children to say something if they see something. We take all reports concerning the safety and security of our campus very seriously. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact me at 843- 553-5300.

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