Surfside Middle School Gun Report was swatting hoax

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PANAMA CITY BEACH, FL – Police were called to the Surfside Middle School in Panama Beach on Wednesday in reference to a call of a student inside the building with a gun.

The department received that call shortly after 2 p.m. today, reporting that a child at Surfside Middle School was in possession of a gun.

“Beach police responded to the school at 300 Nautilus St., and immediately placed the school on lockdown,” the Panama City Beach Police Department said.

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No gun found

The school building was searched and cleared. No child with a weapon was located and no gun was located.

“All children, faculty and school staff are safe,” the department said.

Police are currently doing a second sweep of the school. It is believed this is a hoax/swatting call. This incident is currently under investigation.

School alerts parents

“No weapon was found. Beach Police Officers believe the call they received was a hoax (the initial call was not made to the school but to PCBPD) and they will continue to investigate. We appreciate the swift response of all law enforcement partners, the cooperation of our students and staff and the understanding of our parents,” the school district reported. “This was a scary situation for all and, while we’re frustrated that this may have been a hoax, we are grateful that there was not a real threat to our students. Please be patient with school officials as they return to “normal” and proceed with regular dismissal.”

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Earlier the school notified parents, “All students are safe but a few minutes ago, the Panama City Beach Police Department received a report from someone that there was a weapon on our campus. Beach police arrived immediately and we went into lockdown. Our campus has been searched and we have not found a weapon but officers continue to search the perimeter and we will keep you updated. We are not able to check students out while in a lock down and please understand we may not be able to answer the phone at this time due to a high volume of calls. Again, all students are safe and there are many law enforcement officers on our campus at this time to follow up on the report received from someone who was not on our campus.”

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