BLUFFTON — A 17-year-old student came to Bluffton High School with a loaded gun, several knives, gasoline and a lighter Wednesday, but no one was hurt after a teacher pulled the senior aside because she thought he was having a difficult day, authorities said.
The school was placed on lockdown with students in their classrooms with the lights off after the student told the teacher he had the weapons, according to authorities.
The knives had blades at least 2 inches long, Bluffton Police Chief Joey Reynolds said.
A police officer blocked the road leading into the school, and the State Law Enforcement Division was called in to help search the school and students, Reynolds said.
“This could have been a bad situation, and it wasn’t, because of the quick response of the school staff and law enforcement,” Reynolds said in a news conference after the lockdown at the school ended around noon.
Reynolds wouldn’t talk about if the teen had any specific plans. He is charged as an adult with carrying a weapon on school property, unlawful carrying of a firearm and disturbing schools. He’ll remain in jail at least until a bond hearing Thursday morning. It wasn’t known if he had a lawyer.
Principal Mark Dievendorf praised the teacher for knowing her students and acting quickly.
“The teacher was able to pick up on some verbal and, quite honestly, body language cues that he was having a difficult day,” Dievendorf told reporters outside the school.
Reynolds said a training exercise held last week provided invaluable help in dealing with Wednesday’s incident.