Two in custody after report of school threat in Bedford

Published: May. 10, 2023 at 3:04 PM EDT|Updated: May. 10, 2023 at 5:02 PM EDT
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BEDFORD COUNTY, Va. (WDBJ) - One juvenile and one adult, both students, have been taken into custody in connection with a threat against Liberty High School Wednesday afternoon. Charges are pending.

The high school and Liberty Middle School in Bedford County were put on precautionary lockdown during the investigation.

A Bedford County Public Schools spokesperson said after the lockdown was initiated that “there is no active threat.”

Superintendent Marc Bergin explained what happened during a press conference Wednesday afternoon. He said a message was communicated over radio that prompted the lockdown procedure. Bergin and Sheriff Mike Miller declined to provide further details about the message and who made it.

“Within minutes, the campus received many police officers from state, town and sheriff’s office were here,” said Bergin. “They immediately secured the building and went through the building to make sure that there was no threat.”

Bergin said there was no danger to any student, teacher or staff member. But until officials could confirm that, they treated the threat as if it were imminent and real.

“And I would say within 15 minutes, we had a communication out to families,” Bergin said. “We needed to gather the information to see what exactly was happening.”

Sheriff Miller said law enforcement responded within minutes, per training.

“We secured this campus with a sweep and completed with no threat located. Investigation then began,” he said. “So the threat was found to be unsubstantiated.”

Miller said a school resource officer was on campus at the time. No weapon was found and no shots were fired, according to the sheriff.

Following the investigation, the Sheriff said two students were taken into custody. The agency will be in touch with the Commonwealth’s Attorney regarding charges.

“This incident should never happen,” the Sheriff said. “As you see, the incident that has happened and the response that it caused, the disruptions that it caused, all because somebody wants to think that they’re cute. Well, there’s laws for that. And as far as your sheriff is concerned, they will be held to the maximum of all those laws that we can charge them with.”

The incident began about 2 p.m. Law enforcement secured all buildings, and school dismissal was scheduled to proceed as normal, according to the school district.