A woman is accused of brandishing a gun outside a private girls’ school in downtown Charleston.
The confrontation took place Monday afternoon outside Ashley Hall, an all-girls’ school at 172 Rutledge Ave.
Alice Boland, 28, of Beaufort was arrested and charged with attempted murder, two counts of pointing a firearm, unlawful carrying of a firearm and possession of a firearm during the commission of a violent crime, Charleston police spokesman Charles Francis said. She was being held Monday night in the Charleston County jail.
As parents were picking up their children about 3:20 p.m., a woman approached the school “exhibiting erratic behavior,” said Jill Muti, head of the school. According to Muti, this is what happened:
The school was placed on lockdown and a faculty member approached the woman. The woman drew a gun from her bag. Faculty members tried to lead her away from the school. She stayed on the sidewalk and never entered the campus. The faculty members went back inside to call police.
“Ashley Hall’s emergency procedures worked, thanks to the outstanding, and extraordinarily brave, members of our faculty,” Muti said.
Police arrived within minutes of the call to apprehend the woman, Charleston police spokesman Charles Francis said.
Several police cruisers parked outside the school, and the school was on lockdown until shortly after 4 p.m. Officers were seen looking around the campus until about 4:45 p.m.
Students were sending each other messages that a woman with a gun had walked onto the campus, according to reports from students. Police and school officials said the woman never went inside the wrought-iron fence.
A student leaving the school about 4:30 p.m. said she had been forced to stay late because of the lockdown, but she didn’t know why. The school said it communicated with parents shortly after 4:40 p.m. to alert them and confirm everyone was safe.
Police and school officials didn’t release any information to the newspaper until about 8 p.m. and provided no more information about the woman.