'We all just prayed:' Texts between student, mother during school lockdown emphasize how seriously threats are being taken

Police were on scene at Lake City High School Tuesday morning. (Source: WMBF News)
Police were on scene at Lake City High School Tuesday morning. (Source: WMBF News)

LAKE CITY, SC (WMBF) – A student at Lake City High School was arrested Tuesday morning after guns were discovered in the student's truck, according to officials.

The discovery of the guns came after a BB-gun was pointed out of the window of a vehicle, and someone said they were shot at in the neck, from what they thought was a BB-gun, according to Brian Huckabee, spokesman for Florence County School District 3. Administrators were notified, which led to an investigation, a lock down of the school, and law enforcement being called out.

A Facebook user provided WMBF News with a SnapChat video showing someone pointing what appears to be a handgun out the window of a vehicle. Huckabee confirmed they saw the video, and they believe it was shot Tuesday morning at Lake City High School.

The investigation led authorities to a student's vehicle, where they found other weapons, Huckabee said.

Officials with the Florence County Sheriff's Office said there was never a threat to students.

The student will be charged with possession of a weapon on school property, however it is not known at this time if the student will be charged as a juvenile or adult, confirmed Major Mike Nunn with the Florence County Sheriff's Office.

Nunn added the weapons located were the BB-gun and a small-caliber rifle.

Elizabeth Crell, a ninth grader at Lake City High School, was in one of the mobile classrooms by the parking lot where the student's truck was when the school was on lockdown.

Crell was in between switching classes when students were told to stay in the classroom. She said she heard K-9s in the parking lot outside.

"I was scared definitely," Crell said. "It's frightening for one to know that a student, knowing that this just happened at another school, to bring a gun to our school. He should have known he was going to get in trouble or caught at one point."

Crell texted her aunt, Samantha Floyd, about the lockdown, saying "the school's being locked down and that someone supposedly had a gun at the school and that she was really scared."

At the time of the lockdown, the Florence County Sheriff's Office said there was no threat to the students, but Floyd said otherwise. When she picked up her two nieces, they were visibly scared.

"The two girls that I signed out came with just worried, frightened looks on their faces," Floyd said. "They were even scared to walk to me."

Floyd said Crell told her administrators put up paper to cover the windows.

"If he would of came in there more threatening than what he already was or happen to take people hostage of something like that, they would have never knew because they had it covered with a piece of paper," Floyd said.

She added that after seeing how officials handled Tuesday's incident, her daughter will not be going to Lake City High School, where generations of family have attended class.

"I graduated with honors from Lake City High School and it's like, I don't want my daughter to go there, and it's sad cause I would of liked to have seen her do the same thing I did," Floyd said.

Text messages between a mother and a student during the lockdown were provided to WMBF News. Both asked to be kept anonymous.

The tone of the messages shows just how seriously these threats are being taken. The student tells her mother police are at the school in bulletproof vests and she's scared. The mom says to keep texting.

In another group of texts, the mother again pleads with her child to keep texting. She also asks if the blinds are closed. The student responds by saying everyone in the room with her had just prayed.

In other messages, the mother instructs the child to wear her backpack in front of her body and to use it as a shield.

The full text message exchange can be seen below:

Copyright 2018 WMBF News. All rights reserved.