No credible threat: Hillcrest lockdown causes morning panic
Hillcrest High School went on lockdown this morning after the Tuscaloosa County School System and local law enforcement received a called-in threat suggesting there was an active shooter at the school.
That threat was false and no students were ever in danger, TCSS said.
The Tuscaloosa County Sheriff’s Office, Tuscaloosa Police Department and other local law enforcement agencies were quick to the scene and swiftly determined the threat was not legitimate.
Tuscaloosa County Sheriff Ron Abernathy said the school did the right thing by going on lockdown.
Hillcrest was not the only school in the state that received an active shooter threat. Jasper High School was also affected alongside schools in North Alabama and several other states.
“Apparently, this is something going on across the state of Alabama at a number of different school systems and counties,” Abernathy said. “Once we determined everything was OK, the school boards were able to put information out and let parents know that everybody was OK.”
After the incident, Hillcrest High School began releasing students to their parents if the parents wanted to get their children, Abernathy said.
“We will be having a presence here, of course, throughout the rest of the day,” Abernathy said. “I want to thank everybody’s quick response and going straight into the school like how they’re trained to do.”
An investigation is under way, Abernathy said, and law enforcement will stop at nothing to find those responsible for making threats like this.
“Our initial assessment is that it appears this is across the state,” he said. “So it will probably be a statewide investigative situation.
Making threats against a school can cause dangerous situations, Abernathy said, and is frightening for students, staff and parents.
“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,” Abernathy said.
Other school systems affected around the state include Huntsville City Schools, Scottsboro City Schools and Lauderdale County Schools, according to WHNT.