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Woman with gun being evaluated

A woman who was taken into custody for having a gun on the campus of North Henderson High School and Apple Valley Middle School has been taken to Pardee Hospital for evaluation, the sheriff's spokesman said.

The woman, who has not been identified or charged, was taken for evaluation after the sighting of the gun led to a lockdown of both schools Thursday morning.

"She might have gotten scuffled a little bit," said Maj. Frank Stout. "There's more reasons for an evaluation than injury. Medical personnel evaluated her at the scene. The investigation is continuing." He added that deputies are meeting with the district attorney's office before proceeding on charges.

The call of a gun on campus triggered a massive response of sheriff's deputies.

"We had patrol units, animal enforcement, administration — we were all out there," he said. "If you got a radio and you're a sworn officer you were there."

The sheriff set up a command center at Ebenezer Baptist Church that doubled as a meeting place where anxious parents could get answers about what was happening.

"I'd say we probably had 30 to 35 parents" show up, he said. "When we were able to tell them, 'the kids are good, nobody's injured, we're just doing a safety sweep' it took a lot of heightened emotion out of it."

School officials and Henderson County's sheriff's deputies put North Henderson High School and Apple Valley Middle School on lockdown after responding to a "panic alarm" about a weapon on campus, sheriff's spokesman Frank Stout said. The schools were released from the lockdown at noon after a safety sweep of the campus.

"There was a person who brought a weapon to the campus," he said at 11:10 a.m. from Ebenezer Baptist Church, where the law enforcement operation was staged. "That person has been arrested. At no time were any of the kids put in harm's way. We're just going through the lockdown and safety sweep now."

The person taken into custody for bringing the weapon onto a school campus was an adult, Stout said. The sheriff's office was not yet releasing their identity. The weapon was in a vehicle and was never brought into a school, the school system officials said.

"Henderson County Sheriff’s Office received an emergency call this morning regarding an individual on campus with a weapon," school system spokeswoman Molly McGowan Gorsuch said in a statement issued at 11:13 a.m. "Officers responded promptly and ensured the safety of all students and teachers.

"The individual has been taken into custody by the Sheriff’s Office, and never stepped foot into either school building; the weapon never entered either school building and remained in the individual’s vehicle.  

"No students were injured or were ever in jeopardy. They remain secured in their classrooms while officers conduct a safety sweep throughout the schools’ premises."