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April 8, 2013

Seaholm goes into lockdown after false gun tip

By Tiffany Esshaki
C & G Staff Writer

BIRMINGHAM — School was back in session by the afternoon of April 8 after an anonymous tip indicating a weapon was seen on the campus of Seaholm High School forced the school into a morning lockdown.

According to Cmdr. Terry Kiernan of the Birmingham Police Department, a call was received by police earlier that Monday morning that indicated a person had a weapon inside Seaholm High School. In accordance with procedure, the building was put on lockdown and immediately searched.

“We got a call from someone saying they saw someone with a gun in their pocket or their waste band,” said Kiernan, who said the building was thoroughly searched but no one with a weapon was found.

Unfortunately, Kiernan said they couldn’t follow up on the tip as the name and the phone number provided by the caller proved false. Now, police are treating the call as a hoax, which could lead to criminal charges. Police are working with technology professionals to trace the call back to its correct source.

“The way the call came through is kind of weird through us, so it didn’t show up on our caller ID,” said Kiernan, who added that based on the sound of the caller’s voice, police are reasonably confident the call was not placed by a student.

Whether or not the perpetrator of the false tip is found, the important thing is that no one was hurt and things are back to normal at Seaholm, according to Director of Community Relations for Birmingham Public Schools Marcia Wilkinson.

“The students are safe and we’re back on our regular schedule,” said Wilkinson. “The police are investigating who made the call.”

According to Kiernan, the consequences for filing a false police report could include a 90-day misdemeanor and possibly other charges. Those with information regarding this case are encouraged to call Birmingham Police at (248) 530-1870 or email birminghampolice@bhamgov.org.

You can reach C & G Staff Writer Tiffany Esshaki at tesshaki@candgnews.com or at (586)498-1095.