The Lafayette County Sheriff’s Department cleared Lafayette County Schools after they were put on a “low-threat” lockdown early Thursday morning because of threats of a shooting and bombing.
At 9:50 a.m. on Thursday, several Lafayette High School (LHS) students reported receiving a threatening picture through AirDrop on their phones. The message in the photo read, “I’m going to bomb all Lafayette schools today. Be careful and watch your back.” The Oxford Police Department, University Police Department and K-9 units then arrived at the high school to initiate a two-hour lockdown.
The sheriff’s department had already increased law enforcement presence in and around Lafayette Schools as a precautionary measure after a shooting threat was found in an LHS boys’ bathroom stall on Tuesday.
The message threatened a shooting and was written next to Thursday’s date, according to a press release from the sheriff’s department.
As a result, the sheriff’s department decided to “increase law enforcement presence in and around Lafayette Schools as a precautionary measure,” the press release said.
“During the lockdown, we were a little shaken up. Teachers did not keep teaching, so we just talked and hung out through it. I assumed it was a false alarm, but we were still aware of how big (of) a deal it was because of how many officers were there,” Willa Burger, an LHS senior, said. “You just don’t expect something like that when you walk into school in the morning.”
Once the lockdown went into effect, administrators notified parents that they could pick up their children if they were able to do so, according to a tweet from the Lafayette County School District Twitter account.
“There were lines of cars stacked (in front of the school). It was wild, I didn’t even ask my mom to come to get me because of how long the line was,” senior Sara Grace Moore said.
At 11:10 a.m., officers and K-9 crews finished scanning the premises and deemed the campus safe.
“They had two officers go in each room and scan for bombs. After two hours on lockdown, they cleared us and let us go back to class,” Moore said. “I was pretty shaken up afterward, but happy that everything was okay. The students had pretty much cleared out by then.”
LHS principal Glenn Kitchens said that the school will be conducting emergency drills tomorrow, which have been on the calendar since last summer. He said that the high school has drills regularly.
Law enforcement is investigating these threats, though there are no known suspects.