Police, FBI investigating threatening calls that placed Hanahan High School on delay

“We never like days like today,” school district official says

VIDEO: Police, FBI investigating threatening calls that placed Hanahan High School on delay

HANAHAN, S.C. (WCSC) - Hanahan Police are working to identify the source of a pair of threatening phone calls early Wednesday morning that prompted a search of Hanahan High School that backed up the school’s schedule by two hours.

Hanahan Police Deputy Chief Michael Fowler said the person who threatened to shoot minorities at the school first called the Berkeley County School District’s bus office. When no one answered there, the person then called the county’s dispatch center three times, Fowler said.

The call came in at approximately 7 a.m. to Berkeley County dispatchers from a person threatening to shoot students, Hanahan Police Deputy Chief Michael Fowler said.

Police believe the threat was not credible, but law enforcement responded as though they considered the threat to be real.

The FBI is now involved in the investigation, police say.

Multiple agencies, including Hanahan Police and Fire, the Berkeley and Charleston County Sheriff’s Offices, and Charleston County EMS responded. Law enforcement cordoned off the area, blocking all entrances to the school and did a systematic search before giving the all-clear.

Shortly before 8:30 a.m., Fowler said the search was complete.

“The building is safe, the parking lots, exterior, all the all the outside parts of the school have been checked,” Fowler said. “We’ll find out who did this.”

As a precaution, as the investigation into the call continues, the Berkeley County School District announced the school is operating on a two-hour delay. District spokesperson Katie Tanner said students were allowed on campus at 10:15 a.m. and that school is operating normally.

Parents were notified by email, phone calls and text messages.

“In this situation, they were notified there was a threat, that no one at that time believed to be credible,” Tanner said. "However we let them know there’s gonna be an increased presence of law enforcement.”

District officials said they do not believe the threat is credible, but district safety and security teams are investigating.

“We never like days like today. It’s not a good thing to be reminded that this is the world that we are living in with these type of threats," Tanner said. “We prepare for this every day. Even though you may not see it, except on days like this.”

The school’s principal said he did not observe a noticeable decline in attendance Wednesday, Tanner said.

“Overall, the fact that it was not a credible threat that students are safe is a good day,” Tanner said.

Fowler said when police located the person who made the threatening calls, that person will face charges.

Anyone with information on the person who made the call should call Crime Stoppers of the Lowcountry at 843-554-1111.

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