Colleton County deputies say a 19-year-old high school student is facing charges in connection with a threat of violence they say he made against the school.
Steven Anthony Jones, of Walterboro, was detained on campus around lunchtime Friday, according to Colleton County Sheriff's Lt. Tyger Benton. Jones is charged with disturbing a school, Benton said.
Colleton County High Administration learned of a verbal threat by Jones that he was going to "shoot up the school," Benton said. School administrators and their resource officers interviewed several witnesses that provided corroborated statements confirming the allegations, deputies say.
Benton said Jones was immediately removed from class and interviewed. During the interview, deputies said Jones admitted to making the statement on more than one occasion.
Investigators took Jones to the Colleton County Sheriff's Office Annex where an official interview was conducted.
Deputies said the information divulged during interviews "showed that Jones posed a 'credible' threat to the safety of other students and staff members at CCHS as well as himself."
Subsequently, Jones was taken into custody and transported to the Colleton County Detention Center.
"The Colleton County Sheriff's Office takes every threat to the public, regardless of content or manner of delivery, very seriously," Colleton County Sheriff R. A. Strickland said. "All threats of violence towards the students or staff of any school in Colleton County will be thoroughly investigated and all offenders will be held accountable. This includes malicious rumors and unsubstantiated social media posts that incite unrest or create fear in the minds of the public."
Deputies praised the swift action of school administrators, the resource officers and sheriff's investigators.
The investigation into this threat is ongoing, Benton said.