No weapon found during lockdown at Sugg Middle School in Bradenton

jdeleon@bradenton.comMay 16, 2014 

BRADENTON -- A lockdown was lifted at Sugg Middle School early Thursday afternoon following a police search for a reported weapon.

No weapon was found, according to Bradenton police officials.

"There was a rumor going around that someone brought a weapon to school so they did a precautionary lockdown," said Bradenton Deputy Police Chief Warren Merriman.

A source on campus said the school at 3801 59th St. W., Bradenton, went on lockdown at 10 a.m. By 12:45 p.m., the lockdown was lifted.

Parents were notified during the lockdown by the school district through its automated phone system.

A teacher was told by a student that another student may have brought a gun to school, according to Bradenton Capt. William Fowler. The situation was immediately taken to school resource officer Danny Bench who alerted his superiors.

"We searched every classroom, every locker and every kid," Fowler said. "We didn't find anything and everybody was safe. You can't take anything involving our children and guns lightly."

All necessary precautions were taken, he added.

"They have been having issues with two groups of students," Fowler said. "They took it seriously and put everyone on lockdown."

The Manatee County School Board was also notified immediately.

"I think the principal, the administration and Bradenton police all did as they are supposed to do -- safety first," said school district spokesman Steve Valley. "Providing a safe environment for our students is a top priority."

Jessica De Leon, Herald law enforcement reporter, can be reached at 941-745-7049. You can follow her on Twitter@JDeLeon1012.

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