Gun found in student's backpack at Pinecrest High School
Posted December 7, 2021 2:19 p.m. EST
Updated December 7, 2021 6:50 p.m. EST
Southern Pines, N.C. — There were some tense moments at Pinecrest High School in Moore County Tuesday after a gun was found in a student's backpack.
Moore County Schools is one of only two districts in North Carolina to have its own accredited police force. The other is Charlotte-Mecklenburg.
Once the gun was discovered, officers moved in quickly and the school was put on lockdown to make sure that what they discovered was an isolated incident.
Parents were a little on edge as students were released Tuesday afternoon.
"They didn't notify anybody until about two hours ago to let us know, and then they said that they were on lockdown, so I'm here to pickup my daughter," said parent Sherrika McLeod.
"I'm glad they found it and they got it secured and everybody's safe," another parent told WRAL News.
Here's the timeline of what happened Tuesday morning:
- At 11:16 a.m., Pinecrest High Principal Stephanie Philips came over the schools PA system and restricted movement at the school. That meant everyone was to remain behind locked doors unless there was an emergency.
- At 11:33 a.m., an email was sent putting the school on a modified, soft lockdown. Everyone was told to stay in place. Some who spoke with WRAL News said that at this point students and teachers still did not know what was going on.
- At 1 p.m. the principal came over the school PA system and lifted the lock down.
School leaders did not say how or where the gun was discovered, and they did not release the name of the student who had it.
A statement released by the school system says in part, "A handgun was found in a student's backpack by a staff member. The school was placed on a modified/soft lockdown while Moore County Schools police and administration investigated in order to confirm that this was an isolated incident. There are currently no indications that the student intended to do mass harm with the weapon."
The student won't be allowed back on Pinecrest High School property and will be disciplined after the investigation is complete. Extra police will be on hand at the school on Wednesday.
Last week, there were threats made at Green Hope High School in Cary and West Millbrook Middle School in Raleigh, leading to an increased law enforcement presence at the schools. Also last week, an 8-year-old brought a gun to Knuckles Elementary School in Robeson County.