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Sweetwater schools lockdown: Juvenile still in custody, investigation continues

A juvenile remained in custody Friday, one day after a social media threat prompted Sweetwater ISD’s middle and high schools to be placed on lockdown.

SWEETWATER, Texas – A juvenile remained in custody Friday, one day after a social media threat prompted Sweetwater ISD’s middle and high schools to be placed on lockdown.

Police Chief Brian Frieda said attendance was lower than normal in Sweetwater schools, as his investigators – along with the Texas Rangers and local school officials – continued to probe potential additional leads.

At the same time, Frieda said, there was an increased police presence at “at the (Sweetwater) campuses” Friday.

The juvenile, according to other authorities, remained in the Taylor County Juvenile Detention Center.

It wasn’t clear what charges the juvenile is facing.

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A juvenile is in custody after a threat on social media was made Thursday, prompting Sweetwater ISD's middle and high schools to go on lockdown and students from its middle school to be bused to the Nolan County Coliseum, police and school district officials said.

Police Chief Brian Frieda said their school resource office notified them about a photo showing someone outside the school, possibly armed with multiple weapons.

Sweetwater ISD Superintendent George McFarland issued a statement just after 3 p.m., saying Sweetwater police urged the district to take precautionary measures "due to possible social media threats directed towards Sweetwater Middle School."

McFarland said the district issued lockdowns at its middle and high school campuses and "transported some of our students to predetermined safe zones as part of the district's emergency operations plan."

KTXS spoke with students who say they were at lunch at the time of the lockdown. They say they were told to get underneath the tables. Some of those students were then bused over to the Nolan County Coliseum for safety precautions.

You could see parents and their children hugging one another after they found each other, some of them in tears.

Video posted on social media shows concerned parents waiting to pick up their kids.

At 2:30 p.m., Sweetwater ISD tweeted "in order to be safe and cautious, Sweetwater ISD school buses may be delayed in dropping students off at home today."

KTXS will provide additional details as they become available.



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