R2 Schools locked down as precaution

BLYTHEWOOD – An incident that involved shots fired impacted several Richland Two schools in Blythewood on Monday after deputies began looking for a suspect in the Highlands neighborhood in Northeast Columbia. The shooting incident, which happened in the 4800 block of Hardscrabble Road, caused increased patrols in the area around Hardscrabble and prompted the Richland County Sheriff’s Department to place a limited lockdown on several Richland Two schools Monday afternoon.

Due to the possibility that the suspect was within the community, the following schools were placed on a short delay for bus riders and walkers only: Bridge Creek Elementary, Rice Creek Elementary, Lake Carolina Elementary Upper and Lower, Center for Inquiry, Center for Achievement, Kelly Mill Middle, Blythewood Middle, Summit Parkway Middle and Ridge View High.

Car riders were released on schedule.

In an email on Monday afternoon, Sgt. Amanda Jordon with the Richland County Sheriff’s Public Information Office, stated that at about 2:30 p.m., deputies determined that the public was no longer in danger and the buses were released.

Westwood Threat

Across town, a threat that was allegedly made towards students and faculty members at Westwood High School last week has been deemed “not credible” by Richland County authorities.

According to Deputy Alexis Aarons with the Richland County Sheriff’s Department public information office, a child with intellectual disabilities overheard a conversation and misunderstood what was being said in regards to a post on social media last week.

“There was no intent to do harm in the post. No charges will be filed in this case,” Aarons stated.

On Friday morning, Dec 14, at approximately 10 a.m., school officials notified parents that a morning assembly planned at the school was being cancelled after they were alerted that a threatening message was being sent through Snapchat.

According to officials, the message said that a boy with a gun had threatened to cause harm during the assembly.

By Friday afternoon, officials informed parents that the threat was already not appearing to be credible and that the faculty was continuing the day as normal on campus.

Principal Cheryl Guy released a message to parents Friday afternoon saying that there had been no credible threats made against any student or the school, and that officials had acted swiftly when receiving the initial complaint.

“I am thankful that we have students who immediately reported it to staff, and our School Resource Officer and our administrators were able to quickly investigate,” she stated in the notice.

“A threat of any nature is not a joke to us,” she added in another notice.

The assembly was rescheduled for Monday morning, and was held without incident.

Barbara Ball contributed to this article.

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