HAWKINS COUNTY, Tenn. (WJHL) – One person was transported by EMS from Volunteer High School after police responded to what is now being called a “hoax” active shooter call Tuesday morning.
Hawkins County Sheriff Ronnie Lawson and Director of School Matt Hixson said Tuesday afternoon that contrary to previous statements from officials, only one person was transported by ambulance from the school.
During a media briefing Tuesday morning, Chris Vaughan of the Church Hill Rescue Squad said two people had been transported by EMS for unknown injuries that were not related to the report police had received regarding a possible shooter. Vaughan said no gunshot wounds had been reported.
You can watch that first media briefing below:
“The call was just that there was a possible active shooter and someone had a pistol,” Vaughan said. “Hawkins County EMS has transported two people and their injuries unknown, conditions unknown.”
Later Tuesday afternoon, Lawson said in a second briefing that a student experienced a seizure during the situation and was transported by ambulance.
“During the time of this call, there was a student that was sick, having a seizure and the Hawkins County EMS was on the scene and assisted by my SRO,” Lawson said. “It was totally unrelated. There are no signs in this school of an active shooter, no signs a weapon has been fired, and no injuries to any student or faculty.”
Lawson and Hixson told News Channel 11 later that this was the only person who was taken to a hospital. Vaughan said Tuesday afternoon that the second person was looked at by medical personnel but was not transported.
Lawson and Church Hill Police Chief Chad Mosley said in the second briefing that the situation at Volunteer High School appears to be the result of a hoax call. Lawson said there is no evidence that anyone was injured, gunshots were ever fired or that a shooter had been present in the school.
You can see the full second media briefing below:
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According to Vaughan, students from Volunteer High were screened before they entered the buses that transported them from the school to check for injuries.
“Essentially, it comes down to that’s the most precious thing you have is the children, your most defenseless,” Vaughan said. “Obviously getting the resources there quickly, and that definitely happened. It was a sea of blue lights before I could get from Surgoinsville to Volunteer.”
Vaughan said previous drills and preparation played a big part in the fast response from police and other agencies.
Hixson said he was grateful for the response from multiple agencies Tuesday morning.
“We’ve had it described as a sea of blue light,” Hixson said. “It was a sea of blue lights, red lights and associated personnel that responded to the situation this morning.”
Hixson said 11 buses were scrambled and staged, and five were used to transport students from the school to the armory to meet parents. Mental health counselors were at the armory to assist any parents and students, according to Hixson.