CHARLOTTE, N.C. — There was a heavy police presence early Wednesday at Independence High School in east Charlotte and the school was placed on lockdown after police received a report that a student may have had a weapon.
Charlotte-Mecklenburg police said they were notified that an Independence High School student was displaying a gun at a school bus stop on Regal Oaks Drive at Executive Circle, which is about four miles from the school. Police said it was reported that the student possibly had another gun in a book bag.
To make sure all students and staff were safe, the school was placed on lockdown while officers inside the school investigated.
"We immediately responded, got to the school, the bus had already left. We went through school with CMS police, interviewed several dozen people,” Rob Tufano, with CMPD, said.
@cmpd was notified that an Independence HS student was displaying a gun at a school bus stop and possibly had an additional firearm in a book bag. To ensure the safety of students and staff, the school was place on lockdown while officers inside the school investigated the report— CMPD News (@CMPD) January 15, 2020
Several students were detained and interviewed, but no weapons were found, according to CMPD.
Channel 9 crews were at the school around 7:30 a.m. and could see several police cruisers on campus, with school buses in the parking lot. Parents had been calling Eyewitness News, saying students were not allowed to get off of those buses.
“I thought we were in traffic. But we weren't, we were on lockdown,” sophomore Jennifer Lopez said.
Lopez said she spotted another student running from a nearby bus.
She said her bus driver asked, “Does any of you know him? Recognize him?”
"My bus driver kind of hinted that he had a weapon,” Lopez said.
Just before 7:50 a.m., Channel 9 watched as the students on the buses were allowed to get off and walked into the school.
Classes were supposed to begin at 7:15 a.m.
Students told Channel 9 they saw threats on social media about a possible fight at lunch time.
"I ended up texting my mom, ‘Can you pick me up?’ I’d rather be safe than sorry,” Lopez said.
A parent told Eyewitness News reporter Gina Esposito she first heard about the commotion from her daughter. She waited to bring her daughter to school until after CMS sent out a message around 8 a.m., saying the school was put under a modified lockdown.
“My daughters got a call from a friend this morning that said the school was on lockdown, that something happened on one of the buses, so I just waited to bring her to school,” said Jessica Walkup.
The school remained under a modified lockdown, according to CMS.
Check back with wsoctv.com for updates on this developing story.
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