No arrests made after scares at 2 Fort Lauderdale high schools

Police: Airsoft/pellet guns, gel blasters results of school lockdowns

Sky 10 over police outside Fort Lauderdale High School on March 13, 2023. (WPLG)

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. – Fort Lauderdale police released more details Tuesday about two scares that occurred the day before at high schools in their city.

Authorities were first called to Fort Lauderdale High School Monday morning due to a perceived shooting threat.

The school, located at 1600 NE Fourth Ave., was immediately placed on lockdown while officers cleared each building.

According to Casey Liening, a spokeswoman for the police department, the lockdown was the result of a social media post by a student who was not on campus Monday.

Liening said in an email to Local 10 News that the student had posted a photo of airsoft/pellet guns on social media and “the post was not intended to be a shooting threat.”

She said the student was not arrested, however, the police department’s “Threat Response Unit continues to investigate all of the circumstances involved in the incident.”

Following the lockdown at Fort Lauderdale High, Dillard High School was placed on lockdown due to a “possible shooting threat.”

Sky 10 over police officers outside Dillard High School in Fort Lauderdale. (WPLG)

According to Liening, three students were initially detained at the school, located at 2501 NW 11th St., as officers cleared the campus and investigated the possible threat.

“It was determined the perceived threat was a result of a text message with a picture of what appeared to be a firearm,” Liening said. “The students involved in the text message were the ones detained. After further review, we learned the firearms pictured were not real firearms and were ‘gel blasters’ made to look real.”

Liening said no arrests were made at Dillard High, but the investigation remains ongoing.

“While the initial threat was determined to be unfounded, during the search of the school, officers found a handle from an airsoft-type weapon and a pocketknife,” the school district said in a statement. “The two students involved with bringing these items to school are facing appropriate consequences. At all times the safety and security of our students and staff are our highest priority. Every threat is taken seriously and investigated.”

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Amanda Batchelor is the Digital Executive Producer for