Threatening phone call deemed prank

Published 6:26 pm Monday, September 26, 2016


A phone call made to a local business Monday afternoon threatening violence at Oxford Middle School was apparently a prank by a student, according to the Oxford Police Department.

At 3 p.m. a local business received a phone call from someone saying this “his son had a gun and was going to the school to shoot it up.” The employee contacted the Lafayette County Sheriff’s Department, which contacted OPD since it had not been determined which school the caller was referring to.

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OPD investigators called the business back and were able to get the phone number associated with the call. After calling the phone number, investigators spoke to the caller. It was determined that the call was a prank by an Oxford Middle School student. He and his friends had been making prank calls to local business. Officers made contact with the caller on the OMS campus and determined he did not have any weapons.

The male student was taken into custody by OPD officers and later released into the custody of his parents.

The school was put on lockdown after school officials first leaned of the phone call and all high school students at the OMS campus for athletics were told to remain in the locker rooms until the alleged thereat was over.

Many parents didn’t learn of the incident until after 5 p.m.

Oxford School District Superintendent Brian Harvey said the district has a new communication system that apparently isn’t working as intended.

“I sent out the email to parents and posted it on Facebook, but my wife didn’t get the email until 4:50 p.m.,” Harvey said this morning. “We will take a loot at that system and make adjustments as necessary.”

Harvey said no one at the school was in any danger during the lockdown; however police and the school district must take every threat as a credible one until proven differently.

This is the second lockdown at Oxford schools due to a student making a threat toward the school.

On Aug. 19, a student sent a threatening text to Oxford High School assistant principal that something that “bad” was going to happen after school let out. After a weeklong investigation, OPD arrested an OHS student who was released to his parents and is awaiting a hearing at Lafayette County Youth Court.

“They were two very different circumstances,” Harvey said.