A North Forney High School student is in custody after a gun that was taken to school accidentally discharged Monday, prompting a lock down and concern a school shooting may be underway.
The Forney Independent School District said Monday afternoon that a student was handling the gun when it went off accidentally. Officials with the Kaufman County Sheriff's Office said there was no threat made, no intent to fire the weapon and that no students or staff were harmed.
The weapon was confiscated by police and a student was arrested. The student's name and age has not been confirmed. A second student was initially detained but later determined to not have been involved.
Kaufman County Sheriff Bryan Beavers said they will reveal what charges the student will face at a later time, once their investigation is complete.
“We know today has been difficult for students and staff at North Forney High School, but we are grateful that everyone is safe,” Forney ISD Superintendent Dr. Justin Terry said. “Thanks to our North Forney staff and the Kaufman County Sheriff’s Office (KCSO), our safety protocols were followed and everything ran smoothly and orderly, and everyone is going home safe today.”
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Despite being an accident with no ill intent, the gunfire prompted a lock down and sent fear through the halls of the school where many students thought a mass shooting may be taking place.
"Although it was determined there was no malicious intent, we treat every incident as if it were a threat and take every precautionary measure to ensure student and staff safety," the district said in a statement Monday afternoon. "Forney ISD assures parents these actions will not be tolerated, and we will pursue disciplinary measures to the fullest extent."
Following the gunfire, staff guided students to shelter where some began texting their parents.
“I received a text around 11:50 or so. 'Mom, mom, mom someone is shooting in the gym,'" said Khristia Anderson, a mother of a student at the school.
Anderson told NBC 5 she believed the school could have done a better job communicating with parents.
“If we are getting panicked texts from our kids saying someone is shooting at the school, how come no one is out here talking to us," Anderson said.
Junior Ayden McClain said loud noises are common, but the gunifre was suprising.
“It was really scary. It shook me a bit," McClain said. "You just hear, like, a loud bang ...you would have never suspected anything for it to be a gun."
Randy Howard, also a parent, believes the Kaufman County Sheriff's Department did a great job handling what happened, but is concerned a gun was able to get inside the school.
“Go back and redo the policies maybe, because that is definitely concerning. It’s real concerning. It scared me to death when I heard it," Howard said.
The district said that out of an abundance of caution the school was placed on lock down at about 11:30 a.m. while nearby Smith Intermediate was placed on lock out. The lock out was lifted at about 1:10 p.m. and the high school was put into a "hold" while police continued their investigation.