ALEXANDER COUNTY, N.C. -- Officials arrested a 29-year-old woman in connection with a school threat that claimed bombs had been place throughout a local middle school.
The Alexander County Sheriff's Office received reports Monday referencing threats made against East Alexander Middle School. The threats allegedly said there were bombs placed throughout the school. Investigators said additional threats were also posted on social media.
The suspect, later identified as 29-year-old Barbara Elizabeth Sherrill, reportedly told others about the bombs and said law enforcement "better hope they find them before they go off."
School threats have been on the rise since the school shooting in Parkland Florida, with more than 600 copycat threats targeting schools. The Alexander County Sheriff's Office said they are taking all threats seriously and swept the entire school after it was dismissed early Monday due to inclement weather. They did not find any bombs or threats.
Following an investigation, officials were able to identify Sherrill as a suspect and traveled to her home in Hiddenite and arrested her without incident. She was taken to the Alexander County Detention Center where she was charged with one count of felony false report of mass violence on education property. She was placed under a $20,000 bond and is set to appear in court Monday, March 19.
Alexander County Sheriff Chris Bowman said all threats made against any school, student, or faculty will be taken seriously and, along with the District Attorney's Office, the Alexander County Sheriff's Office will prosecute to the fullest extent of the law.