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Student threatened to kill classmates, shoot up school, Lexington County sheriff says

·3 min read

A student at a Midlands school was charged with making violent threats, the Lexington County Sheriff’s Department said Wednesday.

This is the most recent incident in the past two weeks involving threats of violence or weapons at a Columbia-area school.

In this incident, a Pleasant Hill Middle School student was charged with making direct threats against students at his school, the sheriff’s department said in a news release.

The student, whose name is not being made public because he is younger than 18 years old, made a statement during a class Tuesday about killing two students and “shooting up the school,” according to the release.

Pleasant Hill Middle School in Lexington County.
Pleasant Hill Middle School in Lexington County.

“There was some interaction between the student who was charged and the two students he directly threatened earlier in the day,” Lexington County Sheriff Jay Koon said in the release. “The student later conveyed some thoughts about harming himself and those two students.”

The threat was made out of frustration toward the two students, the sheriff’s department said. Deputies determined the student had no access to weapons at his home, according to the release.

“No matter what led up to the threat, the student still threatened to take the life of or inflict injury on someone,” Koon said. “We have to continue to investigate such threats and take them seriously.”

The student was released to the custody of his mother after being charged. He will appear in Lexington County Family Court at a later date, the sheriff’s department said.

Pleasant Hill Middle School is part of a complex with Pleasant Hill Elementary School in Lexington, near the intersection of Pigsah Church and Rawl roads.

Incidents at Midlands schools

On Tuesday, the Richland County Sheriff’s Department said a 17-year-old Richland Northeast High School Student was charged with bringing a loaded gun to school.

He was booked into the juvenile wing of the Alvin S. Glenn Detention Center on charges of possession of a firearm on school property, possession of a pistol under 18, possession of a stolen firearm and unlawful carry of a handgun, the Richland County Sheriff’s Department said.

There’s no evidence that any other students at the Columbia school were presented or threatened with the gun, according to the Richland County Sheriff’s Department.

On Monday, the Lexington County Sheriff’s Department said a Gilbert High School student was charged after making threats last week involving other Lexington County schools.

The 14-year-old male student made the threats while riding a school bus, according to the sheriff’s department. Another student overheard the 14-year-old say he was going to wear a trench coat and was going to go to an elementary school and middle school to “shoot them up,” the sheriff’s department reported.

The student was released to his parents after being charged and will appear in Lexington County Family Court, according to the sheriff’s department.

Prior to this incident rumors swirled on social media last week about an alleged threat at Chapin High School, which officials later said had been “debunked.”

Also last week, a Gilbert Middle School student was charged with having a knife on campus after showing the weapon to another student during an altercation over reportedly stolen money, according to the sheriff’s department. Both girls were set to appear at Lexington County Family Court.

On Nov. 29, White Knoll High School was placed on lockdown after two students were found with weapons, officials said. A male student had a gun, and he was found with a female student who had a knife, the sheriff’s department said.

In addition to facing criminal charges, both students were immediately suspended and recommended for expulsion, according to White Knoll High Principal Ted Daughtrey.

No injuries were reported in the incidents.

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