A bomb threat at Wardlaw Academy, Thursday, Jan. 7, led to a lockdown and evacuation of the school. Edgefield County Sheriff Jody Rowland told the Advertiser in an interview shortly after the event that the Edgefield County Sheriff’s Office was contacted by the school Thursday afternoon to advise them that the academy had received a bomb threat along with a threat of physical violence. Sheriff Rowland explained law enforcement quickly arrived to the scene and that students were secured outside in a field where their parents were allowed to come and pick them up. “It could not have been any better with the students and parents,” he said. In addition to removing the students, a manual physical search was conducted by law enforcement. The Aiken County Sheriff’s Office also did a sweep of the building with their bomb canine. In the end, it was determined that there was no bomb on the school’s campus.
Sheriff Rowland said that “through fantastic investigations and boot on the ground,” the suspect was identified and located nearHwy 191 within an hour of the initial call to dispatch. The suspect was arrested without incident. Rowland said that such a quick apprehension is such a case is “almost unheard of.” Hepraised the “fantastic response from Edgefield County” as well as the assistance the ECSO received from the ACSO and the SC Department of Natural Resources that led to the speedy resolution of this event. “Just fantastic work by everyone,” Rowland said.
The identity of the suspect was not being released at the time of this interview, but he is described as a 31 year old white male who had extensive knowledge of the school. Additionally, the exact charges he is facing were not available yet, either, but Rowland assured charges are forthcoming.