Rumored shooting prompts sending extra deputies to Southampton County Public Schools

Published 9:11 am Friday, February 22, 2013



COURTLAND—The Southampton County Sheriff’s Office today will have extra deputies at the county’s high, middle and vocational schools after receiving calls about a possible shooting occurring.

“We got some calls last night (Thursday) and some Southampton students were getting text messages, saying they heard about a shooting (planned) at SHS tomorrow,” said Major Gene Drewery. “We have been in contact with the schools, and the schools had more information on it than we did.”

It was determined that the rumor got started from a Carrollton resident’s Facebook and “SHS” was Smithfield High School, Drewery said.

“As a precaution, we will have extra officers at the middle school, vo-tech and high school,” he said. “We want to err on the side of caution.”

The Isle of Wight County Sheriff’s Office determined the rumors about a threat of violence at Smithfield High School were unfounded, said department spokeswoman Kristin Wilda.

“Earlier this week, word spread that a student made threats against a teacher,” Wilda said. “This teacher was in no way directly involved with the situation.”

“This event generated a rumor of potential violence that was spread on social media such as Facebook and Twitter,” she added.

The Isle of Wight Sheriff’s Office has investigated the incident thoroughly.

“While there is no reason to believe that there is any verifiable threat, the sheriff’s office in conjunction with the Smithfield Police Department will be on site at Smithfield High School to ensure the safety of all attending school,” Wilda said.