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Police: ‘No credible threat’ after bullets found at Dorchester Co. school

Summerville Police and Dorchester County School District 2 confirmed that both Gregg Middle...
Summerville Police and Dorchester County School District 2 confirmed that both Gregg Middle School and nearby Summerville High School went on lockdown early Wednesday morning after live ammunition was discovered on the Gregg Middle School campus.(Live 5)
Published: Dec. 1, 2021 at 9:33 AM EST|Updated: Dec. 1, 2021 at 6:45 PM EST
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SUMMERVILLE, S.C. (WCSC) - Summerville Police said lockdowns at two Dorchester County Schools were lifted after an investigation into live rounds of ammunition found Wednesday morning.

Summerville Police Lt. Chris Hirsch said rumors of a threat were still being investigated by school administrators, but there was no sign that any threat was credible.

“We didn’t locate anything other than the live rounds of ammunition,” Hirsch said. “There were no weapons found, no credible threat to a school shooting, no bombs, nothing like that.”

Hirsch said his information indicated a teacher discovered two live rounds of ammunition at Gregg Middle School in a hallway.

Hirsch said police received a call about the discovery at approximately 8:45 a.m. A couple of officers already in the area were immediately alerted and sent to the school.

Police said at 10:44 a.m. that the lockdown had been lifted.

Hirsch said school administrators checked classrooms and officers and Summerville Police accompanied them for safety, he said.

A statement from DD2 spokesperson Pat Raynor said the lockdowns were out of “an abundance of caution to ensure the safety of students and staff.”

“Summerville Police has advised that Summerville High also be placed in a precautionary lockdown during the investigation due to the close proximity of Gregg Middle campus to the high school,” Raynor said.

Police say all students and staff are safe.

The discovery of live ammunition at the school comes one day after a deadly high school shooting in Michigan. Authorities say a 15-year-old sophomore opened fire at Oxford High School in Oxford Township, a community of about 22,000 people roughly 30 miles north of Detroit.

The shooting killed three students, including a 16-year-old boy who died in a deputy’s patrol car on the way to a hospital, authorities said. Eight other people were wounded, some critically.

“So obviously, the safety of students, that’s going to be our number one priority,” Hirsch said of the police response. “Today, was for live rounds of ammunition. You got the response of us out here. There are numerous officers to include our detectives walking through the school. So we don’t take anything lightly.”

Hirsch denied rumors of shots being fired on the campus. Raynor said reports of gunshots on campus were “absolutely untrue.”

Parents concerned after pair of gun-related incidents in 2 Tri-County schools

One Gregg Middle School parent came to the school once she heard it was under lockdown. She says she was looking for more answers about the situation.

“I froze, I didn’t know what else to think about just the safety of my son,” Aleksandra Olscewska said.

She said she wishes more information would have been shared about the situation, a sentiment mirrored by a parent at River Oaks Middle School, where a handgun was found in a student’s bookbag Monday.

“You sent out an email and the email said it was a weapon, there was no danger and staff, a gun is dangerous for students and staff,” parent Rebecca Feathers said of the school district. “And somebody needs to be responsible. If Gregg Middle School can go on lockdown for ammunition, why didn’t River Oaks Middle School go on lockdown for a gun?”

Dorchester District 2 Director of Security Preston Giet said River Oaks did not go on lockdown on Monday because once the gun was recognized, the student cooperated and they immediately separated the weapon from the child.

But Feathers says the schools need to increase their safety protocols.

“Realistically, they need metal detectors. I go into the school today, two days after this incident, there’s no checking of bookbags, there’s no wands, no metal detectors,” she said.

Giet said they have discussed adding metal detectors to all schools. However, he says it’s not efficient to have students go through one or two entrances with detectors every day. Instead, he says they’re increasing the number of district security officers on top of the School Resource Officers they already have at each school.

He says they periodically bring in dogs to search for both drugs and guns. It’s something they’ve done in the past in the high schools, and he says they plan to start doing it in middle schools as early as this spring. But some parents like Feathers insist that isn’t enough.

“I have spoken to the 6th-grade administrator so I can get my daughter into virtual because, as of Monday I will not be sending her,” Feathers said. “I don’t even want to send her for the rest of the week.”

DD2 says they encourage all parents with concerns to please reach out to them with any questions.

Copyright 2021 WCSC. The Associated Press contributed to this report. All rights reserved.