Iredell-Statesville Schools campuses were placed on security alert Friday morning following a threat of violence at West Iredell High School.

The student “got aggravated and said he was going to get a gun and going to take care of stuff,” Superintendent Jeff James said.

Austin Thomas

Iredell County Sheriff Darren Campbell announced the arrest of Austin Lee Thomas, 18, of Daniel Court, Statesville, in a news release.

West Iredell High was placed in lockdown within a few minutes and law enforcement was notified, James said. Other I-SS campuses were also placed on security alert.

Deputies were alerted about an individual who was possibly heading to West Iredell High School with a firearm. The suspect was identified as Thomas, Campbell said in the news release.

Deputies responded to the school and assisted the school resource officer with a security sweep of the entire school and determined that Thomas was not on the property, according to the ICSO news release.

School administrators and deputies reviewed school video surveillance, which showed the suspect’s truck had left the school property just moments before deputies arrived, the sheriff said.

Deputies received information that the truck driven by Thomas was seen traveling on Interstate 77 towards Mooresville. Deputies located the truck, and a traffic stop was conducted. Inside the truck deputies found a high-powered rifle, marijuana, and marijuana paraphernalia, Campbell said.

Thomas was transported to the Iredell County Detention Center where he was charged with: Felony Possession of a Firearm on an Educational Property, Misdemeanor Possession of Marijuana, and Misdemeanor Possession of Drug Paraphernalia.

Thomas appeared before a magistrate, who issued a $3,000 secured bond on the charges.

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