Student with BB gun, 2 others arrested at Lake Brantley High School, police say
Speak Out Hotline tip led to students’ arrest
SEMINOLE COUNTY, Fla. – Three Lake Brantley High School students were arrested Friday for making an online threat and one for bringing a weapon to school, prompting a lockdown on campus, according to school officials.
Lake Brantley Principal Brian Blasewitz said authorities learned about a possible threatening video through a Speak Out Hotline tip.
Police said the video, which was created by several students, showed a student on campus appearing to wave a handgun, officials said.
“We thought a girl was being held hostage in a bathroom with a gun,” 9th grade student Alexandra Schwarzkoph said.
After the tip, the school was immediately placed on lockdown as officers and school staff worked to identify and locate all students involved.
Schwarzkoph said at first she thought it was a drill, but quickly realized it was real.
“It was really scary. We were all super terrified. We were stuck for about 50 minutes under a code red,” she said. “No one was allowed to leave. Everyone had to be completely silent.”
A female student was arrested on campus after they were found with a weapon, according to the school. The weapon was later determined to be a BB gun.
Two other students were also arrested, officials said.
News 6 is not identifying the students arrested due to their ages. Two of the students arrested are 14 years old and the third student is 17 years old, according to police.
[RELATED: Two years after Parkland shooting, Central Florida schools experienced a string of threats]
All three students are charged with electric communication threats to commit a mass shooting or act of terrorism, possession of a gun on school property, disrupting school property statute and providing false information to law enforcement.
Parents rushed to the school after learning about the lockdown. Many of them were terrified and worried about their students.
“I was pretty scared, but I had faith everything was going to be OK,” Karina Sanchez, a parent of a LBHS student said.
Altamonte Springs police Public Information Officer Michelle Sosa said all students and school staff are safe following the incident.
By noon about 40% of students were signed out or released after the lockdown, according to Seminole County Public School officials.
School counselors will be in the auditorium after school in case students feel the need to talk about the incident, Sosa said.
Blasewitz sent a call to families later on Friday with more information about the investigation and the tip that notified authorities.
The Speak Out Hotline tip was sent to the school resource officer who notified Blasewitz and they worked to identify the student as a lockdown was activated on campus.
The code red was put into place shortly after 9 a.m. Friday. and lifted to a Code Yellow around 9:40 a.m., according to school officials.
“Unfortunately, a student has been apprehended with a weapon on campus,” a post to the school Facebook page read. "Please be assured all students and staff are safe. There is no active-threat on-campus. Law enforcement will remain on scene as the investigation continues.”
School officials posted on social media Friday, saying “We have a situation on campus that Altamonte Springs Police Department is currently investigating.”
Officials told News 6 that this was not an active shooter situation.
This threat comes on the two-year mark of the Parkland shooting that left 17 people dead after a gunman opened fire inside Stoneman Douglas High School and amid a string of threats at Central Florida area schools.
Copyright 2020 by WKMG ClickOrlando - All rights reserved.