WELLSBURG - Brooke High School was locked down for about an hour Monday after people fishing at nearby Cross Creek reported hearing several shots fired, but the Brooke County sheriff said the shots weren't believed to be cause for concern.
"We don't believe it was ever a true threat (to the school), but you always want to err on the side of caution," said Brooke County Sheriff Chuck Jackson.
Jackson said after the county's emergency 911 center received a report of several shots being fired at about 2:20 p.m., deputies were dispatched to the scene and Brooke County school officials were alerted of the situation because they were believed to have emanated in the school's vicinity.
He said the shots were believed to have emanated from the hillside above the Dollar General Market and an area behind the store being used by Precision Piping for equipment.
Jackson said the deputies found no evidence of shots being fired but spoke to fishers and pipeline workers who also heard the shots. He acknowledged that while the shots aren't believed to have involved foul play, it is illegal to shoot a firearm within 1,000 feet of a school.
He expressed appreciation to West Virginia State Police and Follansbee and Wellsburg police for also responding to the scene.
Jackson said the lockdown was lifted within an hour after the report was received.
In recent years Brooke County school officials have implemented a policy that calls for schools to be locked down whenever there's an incident that potentially puts students at risk.