Columbia County, GA – Authorities have arrested 3 teenagers Friday in connection with threats made against Columbia County schools.
All schools in the county were put on lock down Friday morning after videos were found on social media of the suspects with guns in the Lakeside High School parking lot.
Luckily, no one was hurt, but the threats made were taken very seriously by law enforcement and school officials.
Authorities say, 18-year-old Jerimiah Hawkins, along with friends, was charged with Possession of a Firearm While on School Property, Criminal Trespass, and Pointing a Firearm at Another.
Aaron Lott, 17, will be charged with Criminal Trespass, Possession of a Firearm by a Person under 18, Possession of a Firearm While on School Property.
Lott and Hawkins remain in the Aiken County Detention Center. Criminal Trespass, Pointing a Firearm and Possession under 18 are all Misdemeanors. Possession on School Property is a Felony.
Leondre Henderson, 19, of Aiken was taken into custody but then not charged.
Lakeside leaders announced over the school’s intercom around 11:00 am Friday morning to reassure parents of their children’s safety, after authorities claim Hawkins made violent threats against the school.
“This student posted video of himself in various locations throughout the community and one of the videos at some point was in our commons,” the voice on the intercom said.
Captain Steve Morris, with the Columbia County Sheriff’s Office, worked with Aiken Department of Public Safety officers to catch the suspects.
“This morning we received information there was a video circulating with individuals in a vehicle, shooting a firearm, and making threats of a school shooting… As we understand they have confessed to this. Weapons have been recovered from the vehicle,” Morris explained.
Parents at Lakeside students say they couldn’t be happier with how law enforcement and the school system handled the threat.
“This was a blessing for so many parents and our children this could have been really bad,” parent, Julia Prather said.
Carrie Lee says she was shocked to hear about the incident, and she’s grateful for whoever turned the Snapchat video over to police. “The fact that he wasn’t a Columbia County student, and the fact that he wasn’t a high school student that was very surprising, but like I said they got on it and they apprehended the guy, and did what they needed to do for the safety and welfare of these children. So they get an A plus from me,” Lee said.
Parents say they hope this doesn’t happen again, but if it does, at least they know the Columbia County school system is prepared.
Continue to count on WJBF News Channel 6 to keep you updated with new information as it comes in.