Wauka Mountain Elementary School was locked down Wednesday morning after a domestic dispute led to a threat to “shoot up” the school.
Parents were alerted to the lockdown at 12:30 p.m., when Thomas Shannon Bruce, 35 of Clermont, was arrested and charged with terroristic threats, a felony, and misdemeanor disruption of a public school, according to the Hall County Sheriff’s Office.
Bruce was never on school grounds on Wednesday, and the charges stemmed from a domestic dispute with his estranged wife.
Bruce called Wauka Mountain Wednesday morning asking about checking his child out of class, but Bruce isn’t authorized to take his child from the school, according to Gordon Higgins, spokesman for the Hall County School System.
He and his estranged wife are in a dispute over custody of their child. After calling the school, Sheriff’s Office investigators believe Bruce then called his wife “and told her he was coming to shoot up the school,” states the Wednesday announcement. Bruce’s wife, who has not been named by law enforcement, then called the school, which alerted law enforcement.
Bruce was arrested without incident at his home on Clermont Highway and booked into Hall County Jail. No bond has been set, according to the Sheriff’s Office, which continues to investigate the threats.
Wauka Mountain Principal Pam Doig sent the following message to school parents on Wednesday:
Hello WMMIA Families,
Today our school received information about a potential custody situation. As a precaution, we activated our safety plan, contacted the Hall County Sherriff’s Office, and placed students on a level one lockdown.
At this time, the parents involved in the dispute have both met with law enforcement officers and appropriate action has been taken by the Hall County Sherriff’s office.