Police: Suspicious devices found at Socastee HS after shooting

Students at Socastee High School texting letting family members know they're okay.

(Updated 9:50pm) Horry County police say several suspicious devices found at Socastee High School have been rendered safe. The devices were found just hours after they say a student fired a shot inside the office of the school's resource officer.

The devices will be sent off for closer examination to determine what they were. Police are not yet releasing how may devices they found. Although police won't comment on the nature of the devices, how many were found, or where they were found, they will say the devices are connected to the investigation into Tuesday's shooting.

Horry County police will not identify the student they say fired the shot Tuesday afternoon, but they say he is a 9th grader at the school.

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Horry County police responded to the school just after 2 pm Tuesday. They say the 9th grader walked into the SRO's office, had a conversation with the officer, and then pulled out a gun and fired a shot. The bullet did not hit the School Resource Officer, Pfc. Erik Karney, but he did suffer shrapnel wounds and was treated at Conway Medical Center.

A student outside the school told NewsChannel 15 that he and other students were in class when they heard the gunshot. Almost immediately, the student said an administrator came on the school's loudspeaker and announced a code red. The students initially thought it was a drill, but word soon spread that the SRO had been injured after a shot was fired.

At some point during all of this, police got word of the possibility of a suspicious device on campus. They brought in teams to conduct a security sweep of the school. Around 4:15 pm Tuesday, the State Law Enforcement Division helicopter landed at the school, delivering a bomb squad team from Columbia.

Immediately after the shooting, the students were evacuated from the school and gathered in the football stadium. No students were hurt.

Socastee Elementary School is next door to the high school and was also on lockdown during the investigation. The elementary students were released about 4:15 Tuesday afternoon.

As of 5 pm Tuesday, bus riders began leaving Socastee High School after being held on lockdown while police investigated the shooting.

Socastee High School will operate on a one hour delay on Wednesday, as metal detectors will be in use. Staff will report at normal time. Students will be searched as they enter the school.

As of 9:50pm Tuesday, the student was still in police custody but had not been formally charged.