2 students questioned about Windermere High threat released, deputies say

OSCO: Detectives bring no charges against 2 students interviewed

By Adrienne Cutway - Web Editor, Troy Blevins - Graham Media Group

WINDERMERE, Fla. - Two Windermere High School students were released after being detained for questioning about a text message students received warning of a possible shooting at the school Thursday afternoon, the Orange County Sheriff's Office said.

Authorities were notified of the threat between noon and 1 p.m. The Sheriff's Office said the school was placed on lockdown as deputies coordinated with the assigned school resource officers and other responding units to clear the school grounds of any potential threats and ensure everyone's safety.

The lockdown was lifted shortly after 4 p.m. and the campus was released back to the school officials for dismissal of the students, the Sheriff's Office said.

"All students are safe and secured. The Sheriff's Department is conducting a search to make sure the campus is secured," school officials said at 1:20 p.m.

Nearby Keene's Crossing Elementary was also placed on a brief lockout due to the increased police activity.

A woman whose daughter attends Windermere High School provided News 6 with an image of the text message reportedly sent to students.

"Shooting at anytime today we are already inside Windermere High School be safe," the message read.

Orange County Sheriff's Office spokeswoman Ingrid Tejada-Monforte said authorities also received reports of a possible fire at the school.

No one was allowed on or off campus until the lockdown was lifted, at which point students were released through their normal mode of transportation, Orange County Public Schools officials said.

The Sheriff's Office said information lead to the detention of two students for questioning. Nothing suspicious was found on campus or in the possession of the two students detained for questioning.

Tejada-Monforte said one student was found at his home and the other was at the school.

Detectives were brought in to interview the two students who were detained. The Sheriff's Office said the detectives have brought no charges against them at this time. The names and ages of the two students were not provided. The students were released to the custody of their parents.

“These situations are taken very seriously and they are enforced to the full extent of the law,” Tejada-Monforte said.

Orange County Public Schools senior manager of media relations Shari Bobinski said the district does not take any chances when it comes to possible threats.

“Our No. 1 priority is student safety,” Bobinski said. “In a lockdown, we have procedures in place that are supposed to be strictly adhered to.”

Evening events and practices at the school were canceled.

Check back for more details on this developing story.

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