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Shooting threat forces Mount de Sales Academy evacuation

Safety is paramount, D.A. says about Mount de Sales evacuation after shooting threat

District Attorney David Cooke discusses Friday's morning evacuation of Mount de Sales Academy downtown Macon campus after a reported shooting threat was made.
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District Attorney David Cooke discusses Friday's morning evacuation of Mount de Sales Academy downtown Macon campus after a reported shooting threat was made.

Mount de Sales Academy students were evacuated from their downtown campus early Friday after a reported threat was made to “shoot up the school,” Bibb County sheriff’s Lt. Brad Wolfe said.

The threat was posted just before 8 a.m. on the school’s YouTube channel, which is used to make morning announcements to students, Wolfe said.

Someone on an anonymous YouTube account wrote: “I’m shooting up the school today. Leave while you can,” about 12 minutes into a live stream of the morning announcements.

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An anonymous YouTube account wrote: “I’m shooting up the school today. Leave while you can,” about 12 minutes into a livestream of the morning announcements at Mount de Sales Academy in Macon on Friday morning around 8 a.m. Screenshot from Mount de Sales Caveliers YouTube account. breaking@macon.com

School officials called the sheriff’s office about 8:15 a.m. and evacuated students by activating the fire alarm, he said. Parents began arriving on campus about an hour after the evacuation.

Alex Thigpen drove from north Macon to pick up his child after his wife called to tell him about a text that she received regarding a threat to the school.

Jennifer Baggarly told a reporter she left work at the Macon-Bibb County Chamber of Commerce after receiving the text alert.

“This never happens,” she said, visibly anxious as she paced behind yellow crime scene tape and waited to pick up her son.

Students were released to parents at 11:15 a.m. after the building was searched for weapons, Sgt. Linda Howard said. No weapons were found.

No name is attached to the YouTube account that posted the threat on the Mount de Sales Cavaliers YouTube page Friday morning.

A string of numbers, a headshot of an adult man and nine miscellaneous videos are the only identifying characteristics associated with the page.

The FBI is helping with the investigation.

The independent Catholic School has about 400 students in grades six through 12, according to the Mount de Sales website. The campus is in the College Hill corridor near Mercer University and Navicent Health on Orange Street.

Samantha Max contributed reporting to this story.

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