Police presence stepped up at Bluffton High School - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

Police presence heightened at Bluffton High School


Students and staff members at Bluffton High School are trying to get back into a normal routine.

Bluffton police said Austen Almida brought to school several knives with blades at least 2 inches long, a loaded Glock .22- handgun, gasoline, lighter fluid and a lighter.

The school had a heightened police presence Thursday morning.

Students and parents were greeted by two Bluffton police officers and a Beaufort County deputy.

The threat to the school may be over, but students are still far from comfortable about going back to class.

"I going to be very, very paranoid today. I'm going to be thinking so many thoughts of what's going to happen and what's not going to happen.  I actually knew the guy and I have him in a class and I sit right next to him. I just hope the staff and the administration can make sure everybody is safe like they were yesterday," said Dominque Gamble, a senior at Bluffton High School. 

Principal Mark Dievendorf told WTOC that he and his staff are working to make students feel safe again.

"I tell them what we have done to assure their safety. Our entire building-every classroom, closet, locker has been searched and reviewed," he said.

Dievendorf said that if there is one good thing that came from this incident it was the relationship that Austen had with the teacher he confided in.

Police said Austen told her he was armed and the feelings he was having a bad day. The faculty were then able to put a stop to what could have been a very dangerous situation. 

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