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City Hall locked down as youth brandishes a weapon on social media and posts 'things about to get real'

By Jim Fair, Editor
Published on Thursday, July 28, 2016

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A juvenile caused a short lockdown at Greer City Hall Tuesday when he posted a photo on social media pointing a weapon at the complex with the caption “things about to get real”.
 

Jim Fair

A juvenile caused a short lockdown at Greer City Hall Tuesday when he posted a photo on social media pointing a weapon at the complex with the caption “things about to get real”.

 

A juvenile caused a short lockdown at Greer City Hall Tuesday when he posted a photo on social media pointing a weapon at the complex with the caption “things about to get real”.

The Greer Police Department considered it a possible terrorist threat. All available patrol units and command staff responded to Greer City Hall and the building was thoroughly searched for any active possible shooter, according to the GPD report.

The park was also surrounded and the units searched the park area,” the GPD reported.

City Administrator Ed Driggers told city council, “There was a situation Tuesday that put this facility on lockdown until we ascertained the legitimacy of the issue.”

A 14-year-old male posted on Instagram a photo of himself pointing “a pistol at City Hall with the caption ‘things about to get real,’” said Lt. Jim Holcombe.

“Through social media there was reason to believe there was the opportunity for a threat for the safety of individuals in this building,” Driggers said. “Our police department reacted immediately.”

The lockdown last approximately 15 minutes, according to city spokesman Steve Owens.

The post was on social media for more than 20 hours before a Greer citizen contacted Sgt. Jeff Smith that an unknown male posted a picture on Instagram standing outside City Hall with a pistol, according to the GPD incident report.

Driggers said, “We ultimately were able to locate the person that posted an inappropriate photo containing what we believed to be a firearm and a threat to this building.”

A school resource officer identified the juvenile as a person already arrested numerous times, according to the report.

The youth lives with his grandmother in Greer and his mother resides in Spartanburg. Police said they located the youth several houses down from the grandmother, who phoned the youth to tell him to come home, the report stated.

Eight Greer PD and Greenville County Sheriff law enforcement officers were at the grandmother’s home when the youth arrived.

The youth, according to the GPD report, stated that he did not mean anything negative about the photograph and was just playing around with a BB gun.

According to the Greenville County Sheriff’s public information office, a juvenile cannot own a BB gun in South Carolina.

The report stated that it was explained to the youth that carrying and playing with bb guns could get him shot or injured by anyone. The bb gun was seized and placed into the evidence locker for destruction. The youth said he had another bb gun at his mother’s house and the disposition of that gun was not recorded.

The youth was placed on Trespass from all City of Greer property. If the youth returned to any city property he would be placed under arrest for Trespass after notice.

“We reacted to it appropriately and our training paid off,” said Driggeers.

“Our police department absolutely acted appropriately and acted in a timely fashion followed all the procedures that we had in place. It was a good drill for us thank goodness.”

 

 

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