Student who allegedly caused S.C. high school lockdown in custody

6:59 AM, May 2, 2013   |    comments
Austen Almida (Photo courtesy WSAV)
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BLUFFTON, S.C. (WSAV) -- A 17-year-old senior at Bluffton High School in Bluffton, S.C., was arrested Wednesday for causing a disturbance at school.

Austen Almida was taken into custody by police. At the time, he was carrying on his person multiple knives with blades at least 2 inches long, a loaded Glock 22 handgun, gasoline, lighter fluid, and a lighter.

Almida has been charged with carrying a weapon onto school property, unlawful carrying of a firearm, and disturbing schools. He has been transported to the Beaufort County Detention Center. A bond hearing will most likely take place at 8:00 a.m. Thursday.

The school was placed on "modified lockdown" after the student was acting suspiciously through conversations and body language.

Principal Mark Dievendorf said many rumors circulated that made officials' jobs harder. Several parents outside the school Wednesday morning were upset officials would not let parents pick their students up from school.

Nearby H.E. McCracken Middle School and Bluffton Elementary were on modified lockdown but later resumed with their normal school day.

In a statement released Wednesday afternoon, Chief Reynolds said, "We thank every student and their parents for their patience today. Our job is to ensure a safe environment and we realize there are moments of concern for everyone involved as we gather information. Our objective, in all critical incidents, is to be thorough and that takes time."


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