Sheriff Grice addresses Ledford High School shooting threat

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DAVIDSON COUNTY, N.C. -- It was an early message parents weren't expecting Friday morning.

James Coats was informed by Ledford High School officials that there was a shooting threat made towards the school. This made him rush to the parking lot to pick up his son.

It was a safety measure he noticed other parents made once he arrived.

"A line of people picking up kids," Coats said.

Coats said he wasn't taking any chances after the school shooting in Parkland, Florida.

"It'd be devastating, devastating for any parent," Coats said.

Davidson County Sheriff David Grice says they knew about the threat Thursday evening.

That's why extra deputies were at the high school and other schools throughout the county.

"For two reasons, one to reassure the parents and also to be present since somebody tried get involved in a copycat situation," Grice said.

He said it wasn't until a parent saw it on social media and went public about it that panic started to set in.

Grice said to ease these concerns, parents should call the sheriff's office to know what's going on.

"Correct information, not the rumor mill," Grice said.

He said these situations are nothing new. They handle two types of threats all year long.

Grice says the most common are shooting threats.

"In the spring of the year, we see bomb threats called in," Grice said.

False alarm or not, it's a reason why deputies who respond to the threats are trained to handle these dangerous encounters.

For Coats, having extra security all the time at school is the only thing to give him piece of mind.

"I know it's expensive, but what's our child's life worth," Coats said.

Grice says an investigation is ongoing to find the student responsible for making the shooting threat.

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