MOBILE, Alabama (WKRG)- An interesting arrest Thursday afternoon involving a school in Mobile placed on lockdown. The Mobile County Sheriff’s Office arrested an 11-year-old boy for making the false reports. He attended Dawes Intermediate School up until a few days ago. Mobile Superintendent Martha Peek says the student recently withdrew from the school. The boy is on his way to the Strickland Youth Center. He will be charged with making a terrorist threat.
The sheriff’s office says the boy texted from a cell phone two times on Thursday morning. The first text to 911 came in at 12:13 A.M. reporting a fire at Dawes Intermediate School. The second text to 911 arrived at 6:30 A.M. reporting gunmen trying to get into the school.
Sheriff Sam Cochran says three other threats were also sent and handled by Mobile Police Department. Some students and staff members were already inside and the school was placed on lockdown for about an hour. The lockdown delayed student drop-off until authorities checked the campus. Sheriff Cochran says the boy confessed to sending the texts this morning.
Although authorities cleared the campus after 8 a.m. Thursday morning, many parents showed up to take their children home for the day. Several stating that the recent San Bernardino shooting had them on edge.
“Just with everything going on lately like mass shootings, I didn’t want to take chances. It doesn’t mean anything to me to miss a day of school and know he’s safe at home with me,” one parent said about her 5th-grade son.
A grandmother who drove by to check on the school said Thursday morning’s scare hits close to home. “My son lives near the San Bernardino shooting and his daughter was on lock down for that two times. They locked down their school, so this really scares me,” She said.
MCPSS Superintendent Martha Peek said she understands the parents’ fears but wanted to assure them that the campus is safe. ” I think certainly in this day in age, you can understand that. And, so it’s up to parents, but what I would say to all parents is that we remain ever vigilant and take anything out of the ordinary very seriously.” Peek said. “We followed our safety plan because we wanted to make sure that everything was safe and secure, that all precautionary measures had taken place, and that nothing alarming was on our campus. Turns out, there wasn’t.”