Lockdown lifted after gun hoax sends students, parents into panic

Hernando County

HERNANDO COUNTY, Fla. (WFLA) – Three Brooksville schools were on lockdown Tuesday morning amid reports of a person walking onto campus with a firearm, according to the Hernando County Sheriff’s Office.

Deputies responded to Central High School and determined there was no active shooter on campus.

“We could not find the suspicious individual that was described in the call or any type of weapon,” said Michael Terry, a public information officer for the sheriff’s office.

The school and two others nearby, Pine Grove Elementary and West Hernando Middle School, were also placed on lockdown status out of precaution. That status has since been lifted, officials said.

Investigators told Terry the report came in via phone. It was quickly determined to be a hoax, Terry said. Still, the school was searched twice as a precaution.

The phony phone call sent students and parents into a panic.

“She just said she was in a closet,” said parent Ken Brening, describing the moment his daughter contacted him. “They were in an active shooter drill. Or not a drill. It could be the real thing. I panicked!”

Other parents called the unfolding events “unorganized” and hope today’s incident allows school and district leaders to reevaluate policies and procedures.

“I think it should’ve been organized a lot better,” another parent said. “Parents have to wait. I’ve been here since 9 a.m. Didn’t tell us anything, worried. So I think it should’ve been organized a lot better.”


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April 24 2021 08:00 am

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