Local News

Threat of school shooting rattles Durham's Jordan High

Posted November 21, 2019 4:19 p.m. EST
Updated November 22, 2019 1:36 p.m. EST

— A threat posted on social media sent Jordan High School in Durham into lockdown briefly on Thursday, but students and parents said the day couldn't return to normal afterward.

Someone posted a profanity-laced message on Instagram that said, in part, "I'm really over it now ... I'm shooting Jordan High School up."

Students said an announcement about the threat was made over the school's PA system at about 11:30 a.m.

"She made everybody lock in, basically," junior Shamari Doyle said of the principal. "She locked all the doors, and we weren’t allowed to leave the classroom. I was scared, and my mom, she was scared, too, and she wanted to get me out of school immediately."

Durham Public Schools spokesman Chip Sudderth said Jordan High staff, school district security personnel and law enforcement officers swept the school campus and found no threat, so the lockdown was lifted.

"In my opinion, they kind of switched everything back from semi-lockdown to normal a little too quickly," senior Gian Bass said. "It was very much about 15 minutes later, 'OK, we’re going back to our regularly scheduled programing.'"

Some students were afraid to return to their classes after that, however.

"I honestly don’t feel safe," junior Jada Long said. "If you look in our office, it’s like 20 parents in there, demanding their students out. There’s police still in there. So, I don’t think, honestly, that we’ll be able to focus."

Julbert Delacruz was one of the parents who checked his children out early.

"It’s really scary. It’s a threat to the whole students of the school. This should be stopped," Delacruz said.

"I was like come pick us up, there was a shooting threat, and I don't want to die," said his daughter, Julisha Delacruz.

Sudderth said there was "somewhat higher-than-usual traffic" of parents checking students out of Jordan High early on Thursday, but he didn't have exact numbers.

Students said high schoolers today always have to be thinking about the possibility of a mass shooting.

"It’s scary to think that it could be your school at any moment, at any time, and there’s nothing you can really do about it," Doyle said.

"This is a real thing, and it’s a real problem, and I feel like we’re really stuck in an odd place where you never know," student Naomi Gorham said.

Some said they already have plans in place to protect themselves in case of a school shooting.

"The first thing I did when I heard the announcement, I texted my sister, 'If something happens, we’re going to car,'" Davis said, noting his sister is a sophomore at Jordan High. "That’s pretty much my contingency plan for everything at this point."

DPS and the Durham County Sheriff's Office haven't determined if the threat was legitimate or not, but the sheriff's office said the Instagram post was altered and shared again on social media late Thursday.

"The Sheriff’s Office would like to caution anyone who would repost the information or speculate on a culprit that sharing such information in a public forum can create false leads that slow an investigation," authorities said in a statement, adding that even making a false threat is a penalty under state law.

Authorities asked that anyone with information in the case call investigators at 919-560-0880.

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