HALL COUNTY, Ga. - Deputies and officers in Hall County with guns drawn boarded a school bus Friday afternoon after a 16-year-old boy said he had a gun. The teenager from Chestatee High School was arrested and taken to juvenile detention.
Viewer video shows Gainesville Police officers and Hall County Sheriff’s deputies with guns drawn ordering students onboard a Hall County school bus to place their hands outside the windows.
“Place your hands outside the window now,” one officer is heard telling the students on a loudspeaker.
Investigators said the bus driver called authorities and pulled off of Dawsonville Highway at a truck turn around near Lake Lanier after he heard a potentially dangerous comment involving a gun.
“The bus driver overheard or heard someone clearly on the bus state either he has a gun or ‘I had a gun,’ it was a reference to someone having a gun on the bus,” said Sgt. Stephen Wilbanks with the Hall County Sheriff’s Office.
Sgt. Wilbanks said the multiple officers involved quickly evacuated the students then searched them and the bus. He said a gun was not found on the bus or on anyone’s possession.
“It was determined this was a hoax perpetrated by a 16-year-old male student,” said Sgt. Wilbanks.
“I think that’s pretty messed up because what just happened in Florida about the shooting,” said Sahi Banda, a student who attends Chestatee High School.
He and his friend Heriberto Nunez were not surprised to learn the teen was charged with disorderly conduct, disrupting the operation of a public school bus, and simple assault, all misdemeanors.
Kathi Scheff, a Cartersville resident at Chestatee High School for her son's soccer match Friday night, believed the school bus hoax sends a greater message
“That kind is a threat is not a joke it never will be. We’ve got to pay attention. We’ve got to wake up and we’ve got to do what we need to do to make sure that’ll kids don’t get to this point,” said Scheff.
Sgt. Wilbanks told FOX 5 News after the teen student was arrested and charged he was taken to the Regional Youth Detention Center. As of late Friday night, it was unclear if the teen was still at the detention center or had been released to his parents.