HCSO: Fake 911 call led to school lockdowns in Lithia

Deputies could be seen outside Barrington Middle School from SkyFOX.

Deputies responded to Barrington Middle School in Lithia this afternoon after reports of a possible weapon on campus, but they now say that there was never a real threat. 

The Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office said someone called 911 Wednesday afternoon to report a person with a firearm on the campus of Barrington Middle School. When pressed with more questions, the caller hung up on the dispatcher.

The school, along with adjoining Stowers Elementary, was put into lockdown mode while deputies searched for any possible weapon. Nothing was ever found, and the lockdown was lifted about an hour later.

Sheriff Chad Chronister said investigators believe a juvenile made the fake 911 call, saying it sounded like a young kid who was trying to disguise his voice to sound older.

Parents respond to Stowers Elementary.

"Fake threats have become too prevalent," Chronister said. "It has to stop."

He called on parents to talk to their children about the ramifications of making a false threat. He said if the person who made the threat is caught, they will face a felony charge for disrupting the 911 system.

"You saw the panic in these young kids' faces," Chronister added. "All they know is they had to hide in a corner, they had to get underneath their desks."