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Howard County Times
Howard County

Investigation ongoing into hoax gun threat at River Hill High; no suspects have been identified

Howard County police said Wednesday morning that they have no information about a suspect in Tuesday’s hoax gun threat at River Hill High School in Clarksville and the investigation is ongoing.

During the incident Tuesday four students were handcuffed inside the school building as police cleared it, but those students not responsible for the threat, police said.

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“In an emergency, officers may temporarily detain people inside the building to confirm they are not contributing to the ongoing threat,” police spokesperson Sherry Llewellyn wrote in an email. “This is strictly for the safety of all involved.”

Shortly before 2 p.m., Tuesday, police responded to the high school after receiving a reported threat of a student with a gun and bomb. No danger was found and detectives said they believed the phone threat to be a hoax.

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Upon receiving the threat, River Hill immediately went into lockdown, during which all interior and exterior doors were locked and no one was allowed to enter or leave the building. Several students who were unaccompanied by staff or an adult were handcuffed and escorted out of the building, per police protocol.

Images of handcuffed students circulated on social media Tuesday, leading to some confusion among students and parents, according to River Hill High Principal Mikaela Lidgard.

“The students whose pictures are being circulated endured a very difficult experience today,” Lidgard wrote in an email to the River Hill community. “They were brave and composed and followed the directions of the police and detectives. They did nothing wrong and did everything right.”

More information about lockdown procedures and other emergency responses can be found on the HCPSS website. All Howard County public schools are off today in observance of the Yom Kippur holiday. Counselors and other student services staff will be available Thursday at the high school.

In an email to the school system, HCPSS Superintendent Michael Martirano commended the response of police, staff and students to the reported threat.

“[Police’s] response was significant,” Martirano said. “I suspect students, staff, families and even those who may have seen parts of the response on social media were taken [aback] by what they witnessed at River Hill. But, I am grateful to know that when we receive a threat to our children and staff as significant as this one, that police will respond at such a high level.”


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