LAKE MARY, Fla. – A 12-year-old boy was arrested on allegations of calling 911 and reporting a shooting at Lake Mary High School. The call turned out to be a hoax and no shooting took place.
Lake Mary High School was placed under a Code Red lockdown Friday after a 911 caller reported a shooting at the campus, officials said.
Seminole County sheriff's deputies said they arrested a 12-year-old student at a local middle school Friday afternoon and charged him with the misuse of 911 and disruption of an educational institution, both of which are misdemeanor offenses.
At 12:16 p.m. Friday, the boy, whose name has not been released, called 911 using a fictitious name and reported there had been a shooting at Lake Mary High School, telling dispatchers he was calling from a bathroom at the school, deputies said.
Authorities evacuated the school as a precaution. Seminole County sheriff's deputies said no evidence of a shooting was discovered, however, and the high school was later cleared.
"We believe it to be a hoax," Seminole County School Board spokesman Michael Lawrence said shortly after the school was cleared.
The boy was taken to the Juvenile Assessment Center. After appearing in front of a circuit court judge over the weekend, a public defender waived the boy's right to appear before a juvenile court judge on Monday. The judge ordered the boy's release into his mother's custody and his next court appearance will be March 10 at 8:30 a.m.
"(We) will do our best to represent child's interest," said public defender Joe Marchianda.
Authorities said earlier Friday if they caught the caller, he or she would face criminal charges and potentially be forced to pay back the cost of the law enforcement response, officials said.
Earlier Friday, students were ordered into closets for protection as police with guns drawn were spotted around the campus.
"We're hiding right now," said student Alissa Hyvonen. "We're OK."
Students were later spotted leaving the school with their hands on their heads as law enforcement officers went classroom to classroom clearing the building.
"Cops came into our rooms and stuff like that they had big guns and they were like looking around," said student Sara Lounsberry. "They weren't asking for anything specific they were just making sure we were all there."
No one was injured in the incident.
Video from Local 6 helicopter Sky 6 showed numerous cars lined up outside the school as parents were trying to pick up their children.
"I wish they would have done something to let us know where the kids are, if there was some way we could get a hold of our children it's be really nice," said parent Linda Izbicky.
Nearby Greenwood Lakes Middle School was also locked down as a precaution during the incident.
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