MILTON — Four schools in Milton went on lockdown Friday morning as a precautionary measure following a shooting nearby in the Whiting Pines subdivision.
The shooting involved six juveniles who were playing with a handgun when the gun went off, injuring one of them. The other five juveniles were in custody by 10 a.m. Friday.
The lockdown began at about 8:30 a.m. and within 15 minutes, Milton High School, Hobbs Middle, Rhodes Elementary and King Middle schools had been placed on lockdown, while law enforcement searched for persons of interest in the shooting. The agencies informed the community they would not be able to gain access to the schools until the lockdown was lifted, via updated Facebook posts on the Santa Rosa School District page.
Milton and Hobbs were placed on an added lockdown mode, known as "secure mode," which the district explained means it was addressing a crisis situation not on site, but in the immediate area.
"Please be assured we are aware of the situation and are doing everything possible to protect your children," the district said in its post. "Know that we have multiple layers of security in place at every one of our schools, including MHS and HMS. School Resource Officers and schools staff have been trained to follow steps that protect students. All of these measures are in place and being implemented. Local law enforcement are also securing these schools."
The school district Facebook post had nearly 500 shares and hundreds of comments as it continued to update readers on the status of the security risk.
The lockdown was lifted about an hour after it began when the suspect was apprehended.
The district thanked the community for their support in their cooperation in helping the district follow their new school safety plans implemented since the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting Feb. 14, 2018 that killed 17 students and injured 17 more in Parkland, Florida. The state Legislature enacted security measures the past two sessions to make schools safer.
"Safety in our schools is a top priority," the district said on their Facebook post. "We are thankful for law enforcement who responded quickly and to our district safety team who implemented our safety plans expediently."
Several Milton parents were at the school after the lockdown to pick up their children. One parent said they would rather take their child home than leave their child at the school after the incident.
The shooting involved six juveniles who were playing with a handgun when the gun went off, injuring one of them. At 10 a.m. Friday, authorities reported that the other five juveniles involved had been taken into custody.