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Bluestone student taken into custody after threats of shooting at school (UPDATED)

SoVaNow.com / February 16, 2018
A student at Bluestone High School in Skipwith was taken into police custody Friday morning after allegedly posting threats on social media about a shooting that would take place at the school.

The student claimed that people would be shot at 12:45 p.m., according to sources at the Mecklenburg County Sheriff’s Office.

By mid-afternoon, the Sheriff's Office issued a statement refuting accounts that a gun had been found at Bluestone High School. Such accounts came from students at the school who said they saw a weapon.

"There was no weapon found at the school or on the juvenile," according to the MCSO statement.

Multiple students at Bluestone reported seeing a gun but the sheriff's office said those reports were inaccurate.

Bluestone notified parents of the incident at approximately 10:40 a.m. through their automatic call system. By then the unnamed student, believed to be a ninth grader, was already in custody.

After being taken into custody, the youth was taken to juvenile court where he is facing felony charges. MCSO Major Terry Edmonds said the juvenile will be charged with communicating a threat to do bodily harm injury or kill a person on the grounds or premises of any elementary, middle or secondary school property which under Virginia law is a Class 6 felony.

BHS Principal Dr. Darnell Carter posted a message to the school’s Facebook page reassuring parents that the campus was safe and there would be a continued presence on campus by law enforcement throughout the day. He thanked the school community for their vigilance.

The incident, coming so closely on the heels of Wednesday’s school shooting in Broward County, Fla. that killed 17 people, has parents on edge. Several parents posted on social media that they were taking their children out of the school for the day, while others are calling for metal detectors to be installed at entrances to the school.

Sheriff Bobby Hawkins said, “We take these matters seriously and take all precautions to make certain our schools and students are safe.”

This story will be updated.

(Editor's note: This article has been revised from the original to take into account additional information from the Sheriff's Office regarding the reported existence of a gun on campus. The initial version reported first-hand accounts from students who said they saw police in the school photographing the locker of the alleged suspect, with a gun inside. The Sheriff's Office said no gun was found and that deputies photographed the locker to document the absence of a weapon.)

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