‘Gun’ that prompted school lockdown was actually a hand-held massager, GA sheriff says

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A student pointed what appeared to be a gun at another student in a Georgia high school bathroom, prompting a district-wide lockdown, the sheriff’s office said.

But it wasn’t a gun.

All Thomaston-Upson Schools were placed on lockdown “out of an abundance of caution” on Tuesday, Aug. 9, after a student mistook a hand-held massager for a handgun, according to Sheriff Dan Kilgore and district officials.

Just before noon, 911 received a call from a concerned parent who said their child saw another student with a gun inside the boys’ bathroom at Upson-Lee High School, Kilgore said. A school resource officer was alerted, as was school staff.

Deputies arrived to investigate the incident as the entire school district was ordered to lock down, according to the sheriff. Authorities later determined that a student had a hand-held massage tool that looked like a gun.

“The student in possession of the massager admitted that he possessed it in the restroom and pointed it at another student,” Kilgore said. “There was no active shooter and all students are safe.”

The lockdown was soon lifted after authorities determined there was no real threat.

Thomaston-Upson Schools Superintendent Larry Derico thanked law enforcement, faculty and staff for putting “planning and preparation into action today” to address the safety scare.

“We all understand how unnerving and upsetting this type of situation can be for our students, staff, and their families and loved ones,” Derico wrote. “But please know that our commitment to the safety of our students and staff will always be a top priority.”

Thomaston is about 50 miles west of Macon.

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