BERKELEY COUNTY, S.C. (WCSC) - Authorities in Berkeley County are investigating the death of a student after the 16-year-old was found dead in a car outside of Cane Bay High School.
Rumors about what happened created a panic among dozens of parents who showed up at the school while it was on a three-hour lockdown to get their kids out of class. The Berkeley County School District and Berkeley County Sheriff’s Office have only said the teen died after experiencing “a medical emergency.”
“The Cane Bay family has experienced the loss of one of our students,” district spokeswoman Katie Orvin said. “Our hearts are with his family and many friends during this difficult time. The school lockdown has been lifted and all students are safe and accounted for. Although the school will resume its normal lunch and class schedule, we are prepared with grief counselors to meet the needs of our school community.”
Berkeley County Coroner George Oliver said the cause of death will be released after an autopsy is complete, but was not yet able to say when the autopsy will be performed.
There was heavy presence of first responders which have since cleared the scene and crime scene tape in the area has been taken down.
“PLEASE, do not post rumors on our page about the scene we are currently working,” the Berkeley County Sheriff’s Office wrote in a comment on Facebook. “Have some respect for the families.”
A line of parents began to form at around noon in order to pick their children up from school. But with the lockdown then in place, no one was allowed to go inside or leave the school. That left worried parents to rely on texts and phone calls from their kids about what they were hearing had happened.
Extra clerical staff were on hand to help parents sign out their kids.
The school day continued after the lockdown was lifted and district officials said grief counselors were on hand.
The Berkeley County Sheriff’s Office, the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division and the Berkeley County Coroner’s Office are investigating the death.