A 17-year-old Dreher High school student was detained by police on Monday after plotting to do harm to others on the 16th anniversary of the Columbine High School shootings, officials say.
The male student, whose identity has not been released, attends Heyward Career Center and was detained by deputies after school officials contacted law enforcement in reference to a plot to shoot students and faculty at Dreher, Richland County Sheriff Leon Lott said in a statement released Monday.
The student was questioned, and investigators found material related to the Columbine shootings on the student’s social media site. The student had been planning to do harm since January, Lott said. The student was turned over to officers with the Columbia Police Department and is being evaluated.
The department is continuing to investigate.
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Richland 1 Superintendent Dr. Craig Witherspoon released a statement about the incident:
“Yesterday morning (Monday, April 20, 2015), the principal and school resource officer at Dreher High School received information that a Dreher student made comments through social media about committing an act of violence at the school. The Columbia Police Department and the Richland County Sheriff’s Department were notified immediately.
“The student in question was in class at Heyward Career and Technology Center at the time the report was received. Officers responded to Heyward and removed the student from the school without incident. No weapons were found in the student’s possession. There were no incidents at Dreher or at Heyward, and the school day proceeded as normal at both sites. Classes are proceeding as normal today as well.
“We appreciate the swift response of our local law enforcement agencies, and we are thankful that no one was harmed. The Columbia Police Department is continuing its investigation.
“The safety of our students and staff is our top priority in Richland One. While we cannot disclose disciplinary actions that have been or may be taken against a particular student, we want to emphasize that threats of violence made by students or anyone else are taken seriously and will not be condoned.”