Deputies: Student Baker Acted after threat to schools


A Columbia County student was Baker Acted after a threat led to precautionary lockdowns Wednesday morning at all of the county’s schools, according to the Columbia County Sheriff’s Office.

The investigation began late Tuesday night when the school alerted deputies that an unidentified student had made statements to another student about trying to harm himself over the weekend.  The student said that since his attempts failed, he would go to a school and “shoot it up.”  The student that reported the statements to the school officials did not know the student’s name that made the threats, but provided a description. The School Resource Deputies were unable to identify the student during the night.   

Out of an abundance of caution, the School Board placed all county schools on controlled movement/lockdown Wednesday morning until the student’s statements could be investigated.

“This is a serious situation and we do not take the safety of our children lightly,” Columbia County Sheriff Mark Hunter said. “Everyone involved came together to protect the children. The student that sounded the alarm to his teacher was a crucial step in this process. I am grateful for the very effective partnership CCSO has with the School Board.”

On Wednesday morning, the deputies identified the student and interviewed him at length about the statements.  The boy, a sophomore student at Columbia High School, admitted talking about school shootings, but denied planning any such action. As a result of the interview, the student was Baker Acted for a mental health evaluation.

All schools in the county returned to normal operation shortly after 9 a.m., deputies said.