A middle school in rural Colleton county, South Carolina was on the receiving end of a school shooting threat on Monday morning, multiple sources familiar with the situation told this news outlet.
Colleton county middle school – located in Walterboro, S.C. – was targeted by the alleged threat, which was reportedly made against the school via social media.
Early reports that shots were fired at the school are inaccurate, according to local law enforcement.
“No shots – threat only,” a source familiar with the situation told me.
School officials sent an email to their list of recipients on Monday morning indicating “there was a post made on social media about our school being shot up today at 2:00 p.m.”
Teachers were told that recess was cancelled and that “all doors need(ed) to remain closed and locked today.”
“We will have a large law enforcement presence today,” the message added.
Deputies of the Colleton county sheriff’s office were indeed said to be “swarming” the campus in response to the threat.
“We got deputies everywhere,” a source on the ground said.
According to my sources, parents were informed of the threat right around the time many of them were dropping their children off for school. Not surprisingly, many decided to keep their children home – and several parents who had just dropped their children off decided to retrieve them upon hearing about the threat.
Classes were approximately one-third occupied, a source familiar with the situation told me.
One source with knowledge of the threat’s origin said it was tied to the ‘Cowboys,’ a Walterboro-based gang which gained statewide notoriety last week when its members were roped into the still-unraveling ‘Murdaugh Murders’ true crime saga surrounding disgraced attorney Alex Murdaugh, a resident of Colleton county. Specifically, a statewide grand jury will be convened this month to investigate some of Murdaugh’s alleged drug ties – including his alleged ties to the Cowboys.
Obviously that grand jury is not looking into all of his alleged drug ties, though …
While some have discounted the ‘Cowboys’ as a small-time local outfit, Colleton county residents remain leery of the organization and its reach.
“They are more powerful than people think,” one local resident told me.
Another source on the ground disputed that contention, arguing that the threat was an “eighth grade prank.”
Threats of school shootings are becoming increasingly commonplace in the Palmetto State. In late September, this news outlet reported on a gang-related school shooting threat at Irmo high school just northeast of Columbia, S.C.
This is a developing story … please check back for updates.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR …
Will Folks is the founding editor of the news outlet you are currently reading. Prior to founding FITSNews, he served as press secretary to the governor of South Carolina. He lives in the Midlands region of the state with his wife and seven children. And yes, in addition to having lots of kids he has LOTS of hats (including that classic “Block C” University of South Carolina lid pictured above).
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