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After the lockdown at Beaufort High School on Wednesday, Sept. 5, Battery Creek High School was on lock down today, Sept. 6, after a student reported that another student was carrying a firearm on school grounds. The student alleged to possess a weapon was detained by Beaufort County Sheriff’s Deputies while a search was conducted. As of 11 a.m. no weapon had been found. Pictured is a BCSO cruiser blocking the entrance to the student parking lot. Bob Sofaly/The Island News

Battery Creek High School student charged with bringing gun to school

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By Tony Kukulich

A 14-year-old Battery Creek High School students faces a weapons charge after an investigation revealed that the student brought a firearm to school.

The investigation was prompted when school officials received information Thursday, Oct. 6, indicating the student may have been in possession of a weapon.

“Around 9 a.m., there was a tip that came into Battery Creek High School saying that there was a student with a potential weapon,” said Staff Sgt. Daniel Allen with the Sheriff’s Office. “The school went ahead and notified law enforcement. Of course, they have an SRO there. They went into a lockdown. The student in question was detained. No weapon has been found. The whole building was searched and no weapons were found on anyone or at any location.”

Despite not finding a weapon on campus, the Sheriff’s Office investigation determined that the student did bring a gun to school the prior day, Wednesday, Oct. 5. The student has been detained at the Department of Juvenile Justice and is being petitioned to Family Court for possession of a firearm on school property.

The incident was the second such incident in the Beaufort County School District Thursday morning. Beaufort High School also initiated a security lockdown after it was reported that a student in that school had a firearm in his possession.

The Beaufort Police Department (BPD) issued a statement Thursday morning indicating that one person had been detained by officers investigating the threat at Beaufort High School. City of Beaufort Police Chief Dale McDorman subsequently advised that the student in question was not charged.

“We received word that a student had brought a gun to school this morning,” McDorman said in an email to The Island News. “The student had been named in the call, and officers located the student off campus and he was detained while the investigation was carried out. The school did go on lockdown because the whereabouts of the student was not immediately known. No weapons were located on the student or in the school, and the student was not charged.”

Both of these incidents came a day after Beaufort High School was locked down due to a call received by the BPD that reported an active shooter on the school’s campus.

The call drew a massive law enforcement response to the school’s campus. The call was eventually determined to be a hoax. The school was one of nearly two dozen schools across the state that were struck by a wave of similar calls. The investigation into the hoax is being headed by the FBI with the cooperation of the City of Beaufort Police Department and the Beaufort County Sheriff’s Office.

“Our law enforcement, our fire department, our EMS did exactly what they always train to do,” City of Beaufort Mayor Stephen Murray said during a Wednesday afternoon press conference. “We’ve seen incidents around the country where maybe there wasn’t a rapid response. That was not the case in Beaufort this morning.”

The first officers entered the school approximately three minutes after the call was made. More than 80 officers from local, state and federal agencies responded to the campus. The school initiated a security lockdown and parents, notified by their children, rushed to the school. Once the campus was secured, students were transported to the BHS football stadium where the reunification process got underway around noon.

Tony Kukulich is a recent transplant to the Lowcountry. A native of Wilmington, Del., he comes to The Island News from the San Francisco Bay Area where he spent seven years as a reporter and photographer for several publications. He can be reached at tony.theislandnews@gmail.com.


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