Blackville teens arrested for bomb threat

  • Sheriff’s deputies conduct a search of Blackville-Hilda High School with the help of a bomb-sniffing dog.

Two juveniles have been arrested in connection to a bomb threat that led to the evacuation of Blackville-Hilda High and Middle schools on Nov. 15.

Barnwell County Sheriff Ed Carroll said his office was notified at 12:56 p.m. of the threat of a bomb at the high school. He said the threat was called into the school, but declined to give further details of the call.

“An investigation into this case continued and later that afternoon around 5 p.m. the investigation led to the arrest of a black male juvenile and a white male juvenile, ages 13 and 14. Both were transported to the Department of Juvenile Justice in Columbia last night and will be charged with a number of charges in family court,” said Sheriff Carroll.

District 19 Superintendent Dr. Shawn Johnson said both schools were evacuated because they share the same campus. Johnson was out sick Wednesday, but David Corder, District Director of Federal Programs, coordinated with law enforcement and school staff.

There are approximately 340 to 360 students at the two schools, said Dr. Johnson.

Students were first evacuated to the football field behind the school and then transported to the Blackville Community Center. Parents were notified by the school paging system. Once an “all clear” was given around 3 p.m., any students who had not been picked up by parents were transported back to their respective schools.

Bomb-sniffing dogs were brought in from the Aiken County Sheriff’s Office and the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division to do a sweep of the school buildings and grounds.

Other area school districts were notified of the threat, confirmed law enforcement.

Dr. Johnson said by telephone interview that he was pleased with the actions of his staff and students. “We have good people in place. I feel confident with these people.”

The investigation continues.