Terroristic Threat puts Middle School on Lockdown

By: 
JOSEPH GRANT
Lead Staff Reporter

In response to a plausible threat made on social media, Sweetwater Middle School was placed on tactical lockdown yesterday afternoon. Police, State Troopers, Sweetwater Fire Department and other first responders immediately swarmed the school campus.
Streets surrounding the school, such as Avenue C, were at a standstill with buses, parent’s vehicles and at least one ambulance parked wherever they could fit. Traffic on Lamar was affected by the incident, as well. At least one child was treated for a panic attack and was taken away by the ambulance.
Nervous parents gathered on the perimeter of the campus and upon the grass, while others clustered in the front of the school doors.
Sweetwater Police Chief Brian Frieda addressed parents concerns near the secured front entrance.
“At no time was there any interior threat to the students. There is no active threat to Sweetwater Middle School.” Chief Frieda said as he stood in front of two State Policemen wearing Kevlar vests and heavily armed with assault weapons.
As a precaution, it was announced that all students were being bused away from the school to the Nolan County Coliseum. Parents immediately left the school area under police escort en route for the Coliseum. A heavy law enforcement presence met the parents as they arrived at the parking lot. Parents then waited many anxious moments outside of the Annex until their children arrived by Sweetwater ISD school buses. As always, parents needed to show a form of identification to pick up their children.
Sweetwater Police Department put out this statement:
“Earlier this afternoon our agency was notified of a possible threat that had been made against one of our schools. As a precaution, schools were placed on lockdown. It should be noted that no threat was present in the school and all measures taken were as a precaution only to ensure the safety of students and staff in the event a threat arose.
As an added precaution all 6th, 7th, and 8th grade students were securely relocated to a secondary location at the Nolan County Coliseum where they could be reunited with their families. Again, these measures were a precaution only and no active threat was present at any campus. A juvenile has been detained in regard to this incident and the investigation is ongoing at this time.”
There had been an unconfirmed report that the school security camera caught a male suspect outside of the school who appeared armed with multiple weapons.

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