***UPDATED at 3:12 P.M. on Friday, August 7th***
Columbia County, GA – We have now learned the name of one of the suspects in a Friday morning situation that caused all school in Columbia County to be locked down.
Captain Steve Morris, of the Columbia County Sheriff’s Office, 18-year-old Jeremiah Hawkins, of Aiken, posted a series of Snapchats of a handgun being discharged from a vehicle.
In other Snapchats, Hawkins stated he was in Augusta, the Lakeside High School parking lot, and in the cafeteria of Lakeside High School.
Capt. Morris says, no direct threats were made to any particular school, but out of an abundance of caution, all schools in Columbia County were placed on lock down.
“Any time we get a call like this, you know we need all the resources that we can get and that’s what happened here. We reached out for resources and we have a lot of schools in the county,” said Capt. Morris.
“I think they handled it well. I mean, I heard some parents in there complaining, saying they wish they would have been called. But, if they would have been called, there would have been 4,000 parents up here and they would not have been able to do their job. So, I think it was best to handle it this way,” says Jahmar Binghman, a parent of a Lakeside student.
One witness stated a white male in a dark-colored Chevrolet Avalanche pointed a weapon at them while they were on the bus at Old Evans Road, near Bobby Jones Expressway. The Suspect was tracked via cell phone to Aiken, where he was arrested by Aiken Department of Public Safety officers.
The truck was at the scene of his arrest. Two other subjects were with Hawkins, 17-year-old Aaron Lott, of Aiken, and 19-year-old Leondre Henderson, also from Aiken.
Lott will be charged with Criminal Trespass, Possession of a Firearm by a Person under 18, and Possession of a Firearm While on School Property.
Hawkins will be charged with Possession of a Firearm While on School Property, Criminal Trespass, and Pointing a Firearm at Another.
No charges have been filed against Henderson. Lott and Hawkins remain in the Aiken County Detention Center.
Criminal Trespass and Pointing a Firearm and Possession under 18 are misdemeanors. Possession of a Firearm While on School Property is a Felony.
***UPDATED at 9:54 A.M. on Friday, August 7th***
Evans, GA – Four suspects who caused Columbia County schools to be on lock down have been captured in Aiken County.
According to Captain Steve Morris, of the Columbia County Sheriff’s Office, the suspects were captured by the Aiken County Sheriff’s Office.
Capt. Morris confirms weapons were removed from the suspect vehicle
Video was posted on social media sites of people driving around the Lakeside High School parking lot with guns and photos posted showed individuals in the school’s common area. The video and photos were taken both during daylight and nighttime hours.
The Columbia County Board of Education has released a statement on the Friday morning incident that caused all schools in the county to be on lock down:
“Columbia County schools are in a soft lockdown after learning of the Columbia County Sheriff’s Department’s investigation of a report made regarding a non-Columbia County teenager brandishing a weapon in the community. Reportedly, this individual posted video of himself in various locations, including Lakeside High School. Currently, this individual is in custody, and deputies remain on the Lakeside complex as their investigation continues.
All schools continue to operate as normal and safety precautions are in place. Questions regarding this matter may be directed to individual schools or the Superintendent’s Office by calling 706-541-2723.”
We are continuing to follow this developing story and we will provide the latest information as it becomes available. Our Margaret-Ann Carter will report from Lakeside High School during Friday’s WJBF News Channel 6 at Noon broadcast.
***POSTED at 8:28 A.M. and UPDATED at 9:32 A.M. on Friday, August 7th***
Evans, GA – According to the Columbia County Sheriff’s Office the suspect has been captured in Aiken, South Carolina and is in custody.
Evans, GA – We are following breaking news out of Columbia County where school superintendent Doctor Sandra Carraway tells us that all Columbia County schools are on “soft” lock down.
The lock down is due to a student reporting a social media post about someone driving around the area of the schools shooting a gun.
The school district is being pro-active and authorities are at Lakeside High School checking it out. Deputies are also out looking for the suspect vehicle.
Captain Steve Morris, of the Columbia County Sheriff’s Office, says no weapons have been found on school property.