Sheriff: Handgun causes lockdown at Perry Central HS, one arrested

A student with a handgun caused Perry Central High School to go into lockdown Tuesday morning.
Published: May. 16, 2023 at 11:20 AM CDT
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NEW AUGUSTA, Miss. (WDAM) - A student with a handgun caused Perry Central High School to go into lockdown Tuesday morning.

Perry County Sheriff Mitch Nobles said school officials alerted law enforcement and began lockdown procedures when they received information that a student might be on campus with a firearm.

When deputies arrived on the scene, they located the suspect, a 17-year-old male student, in a boy’s bathroom with a handgun in his waistband. He was apprehended without incident, and no injuries were reported.

Nobles said it only took 12 minutes from the time they were notified of the situation to the arrest.

“I’m pretty proud of that (response time),” he said.

In a Facebook post, the sheriff thanked his deputies and the school district for effectively working together to prevent a tragic situation.

“Thank you for the quick response from the staff and to the deputies that responded,” reads the post. “We always strive to keep our school districts safe, and we are fortunate no one was harmed during this incident.”

Perry County School District officials also thanked the sheriff’s office for their quick response in a Facebook post following the incident.

Perry County Superintendent Titus Hines said that he was also thankful for the orderly and swift response of the school faculty and staff.

“The (lockdown) procedure was handled as we trained for,” said Hines. “The training does work. It’s unfortunate that we have to have that type of training, but it is necessary... The issue was addressed. Thankfully, nothing else was able to happen because of the response of the faculty and staff.”

The district said the lockdown had been lifted, and classes had returned to normal. However, a few sheriff deputies will remain on campus to help with security.

Nobles said the suspect is booked into the Perry County Jail as an adult, and his office will release his name at a later time.

The suspect’s motive or reason for having the gun on campus is unknown at this time.

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