Hillcrest high gets all-clear after active shooter threat

There was a mass panic followed by a huge sigh of relief at Hillcrest High School Tuesday after an active shooter threat was called in to the school just before 10 a.m.

Can you imagine sitting in your classroom on what seems to be a normal day only to be startled by the sounds of sirens and helicopter traffic?

“We heard ‘lockdown, lockdown,’ then we got under the desks,” said Hillcrest freshman Ike Duke. “Some of the girls were crying. School should be a place for learning and hanging out with your friends. You shouldn’t have to worry about someone bringing a gun to school.”

Hundreds of parents like Tyeisha Walton left work to get to their children.

“I’m very upset,” she said. “What if this had been real?”

Tuscaloosa County Sheriff Ron Abernathy was visibly upset on the scene Tuesday, but commended local law enforcement and the Tuscaloosa County School System for how they handled the situation.

“This is a great example of us working together,” Abernathy said.  “We’re taking this very seriously. We’re going to investigate this and when we determine who did it there’s gonna be criminal action taken against those individuals.”

This Christmas season, Duke said he has a lot to be grateful for.

“I’m grateful to be going home,” he said.

Similar threats were called in at schools around the state Tuesday, including in Birmingham, Jasper and Huntsville.

School was not officially dismissed at Hillcrest Tuesday, but hundreds of parents checked their children out in the wake of the incident.

Categories: Local News