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W.Va. school, students searched after report of firearm

April 25, 2008

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. - The Martinsburg Police Department searched South Middle School Thursday morning after receiving a report of a possible firearm in the building, according to a department press release.

No firearm was found, police said.

At about 8 a.m., students reported that they overheard someone say a subject might have a firearm at the school, Lt. G.B. Swartwood said in the release.

That information could not be "readily dispelled or further corroborated" during the initial stages of the investigation, Swartwood said.

Administrators put the school on a "code orange" alert, meaning students and staff were to remain in their classrooms until the entire facility and everyone in it had been searched, Swartwood said.

Police searched the building and used an electric wand to search the students, Swartwood said. The code orange was lifted at 10:20 a.m., he said.

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Swartwood commended the students and faculty for "excellent cooperation and professionalism" during the search.

The investigation is ongoing, police said.

Anyone with information about the incident or the alleged threat may contact the Martinsburg Police Department at 304-264-2100 or Berkeley County Crime Solvers at 304-267-4999.

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