Powell HS gun call a hoax; Student arrested

Knoxville (WVLT) - A Powell High School teenager is arrested after she authorities say she lied to 911 operators, claiming there was a gun at the school.

Volunteer TV's Liz Tedone was there while deputies searched students and put the school on lockdown.

The girl is believed to be 16 or 17 years old, and now she's charged with reckless endangerment for allegedly placing a fake emergency call to 911.

More than 30 Knox County Sheriff's Deputies, K-9 units and a chopper responded to a 911 call from inside Powell High School.

"From someone on a cell phone, saying that they saw a boy here at school with a gun, and she was hiding. It was a female caller and she was hiding in the bathroom," Knox County Chief Deputy Tom Spangler said.

Most of the students had gone home by then. The school is in final exams this week and dismissal came early. A source close to a faculty member inside the school tells WVLT that what came next were these announcements over the loudspeaker. The first telling teachers the school is on lockdown. The second instructing them to barricade their doors, and the third asking teachers to call the office.

Senior Jay Collins had come back to Powell High to check his final grade and was told to get into the football locker room. There he was holed up with several other students and coaches.

"It was a calming atmosphere, but at the same time we knew it was a serious situation," Collins said.

With the school on lockdown, deputies raided the school searching for a boy or a gun. Meanwhile, the initial 911 call was traced to a disposable phone in Brownsville, Tennessee.

"Come to find out, it comes back to a lady here at school, that goes to school here. We were able to locate her, and she is now in our custody," Spangler said.

The girl was found at home and charged with reckless endangerment. A number of other charges are pending.

At no time were students and faculty in any danger. It's not clear what the girl's motives were for this hoax that now has serious consequences.

Stay connected to Volunteer TV News and volunteertv.com for continued coverage of this developing news story.

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