Crime & Courts

Teen said a student was armed at a Midlands high school, but she’s the one locked up

A student has been charged after the threat of a shooting was reported at a Midlands high school Monday.

Rather than an armed teenager, the student who reported the threat has been locked up, the Sumter Police Department said.

That’s because the 16-year-old Sumter High School student who called law enforcement later admitted she made up the threat, police said in a news release.

Officers responded to Sumter High after 9 a.m. when the 16-year-old told school officials she was approached in a restroom by another student who showed her a gun, according to the release.

The girl in the story was “upset and threatened to shoot up the school,” according to the teenager’s story, police said.

The high school was placed on lockdown, as students were told to remain inside their classrooms while officers searched for the armed girl, according to the release.

Officers said they found no evidence of an armed student, and determined there was no threat of a shooting.

During questioning with investigators, the 16-year-old confessed to making up the story, police said.

She was taken to the Department of Juvenile Justice facility in Columbia, where she was charged with filing a false report, according to the release.

“We take all threats to schools very seriously and appropriate actions must be taken anytime a false claim like this is made,” Chief Russell Roark said in the release.

Because of her age, the student has not been publicly identified.

Information was not available if the teen will remain locked up or be released to the custody of a parent or guardian.

In a message sent to parents from the school district, the rest of the day at Sumter High is proceeding on its normal schedule, the Sumter Item reported.

This is a developing story, check back for updates.

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Noah Feit is a Real Time reporter with The State focused on breaking news, public safety and trending news. The award-winning journalist has worked for multiple newspapers since starting his career in 1999.