BEAUFORT COUNTY, S.C. (WSAV) — No victims or a shooter were found at Beaufort High School following reports of shots fired.

At approximately 9:30 a.m., emergency services were dispatched to Beaufort High School, located at 84 Sea Island Parkway, for the report of shots fired.

Police and other first responders rushed to more than 20 schools after getting 911 calls about active shooters. All of those calls were a hoax.

It was put on lockdown after Beaufort Police got a call about an active shooter inside the halls.

Beaufort and Port Royal Police and members of the Beaufort County Sheriff’s department were called in to help.

Beaufort Police Chief Dale McDormand said all the officers and deputies stepped up.

“I’ve never been prouder of the men and women in law enforcement,” said McDormand. “This was an unfortunate incident that happened at our school. I’m not going to speak to the type of person that would do this. But I literally saw officers and deputies probably running to the front door before their cars stopped moving.”

Beaufort County Sheriff PJ Tanner gave credit to the students for doing their job as well.

“All my guys on the ground at the school could not say enough about how these kids responded to this call. They listened carefully, they followed the request that was made by school staff,” Tanner explained. “They did an exceptional job and we are exceptionally proud”

Everyone was locked down in the classrooms and offices inside as law enforcement did a full sweep of the inside and outside of the building.

They found no shooter or victims.

McDormand said while his officers got there as fast as they could, he regretted not getting information out to parents sooner.

“We (Beaufort County Sheriff’s, Beaufort County Schools, and Beaufort Police) agonized what to put out and when to put it out because we wanted to get it out,” the Chief said. “We had officers with the groups of parents that had gathered. giving them as much information as we could. Being a parent myself, the information wasn’t out soon enough, but we couldn’t get it out any quicker.”

That initial lack of information had many parents, who were cordoned off to the Beaufort High School football stadium with limited knowledge, upset and worried.

“I don’t know what’s going on they won’t tell us anything,” said Denise Charles, a Beaufort High parent. “He called me and said he was scared.”

Hundreds of parents met outside the stadium — which became the staging area for families to wait, and hopefully, pick up their kids.

“You see this on TV and all the other schools. You just start praying,” said Denise.

Prayers were answered for these folks when the buses carrying kids came rolling in.

The students didn’t get to go to their parents’ arms right away. They were taken to the stands of the football field instead.

There they got interviewed and counseled and waited to go home. The parents had to sign up with personal information to get their teens. The lines waiting ten deep.

But when they finally were able to see them, they heard the stories from inside.

“I was in a closet so I didn’t really know anything and I heard a bunch of screaming but I knew I was safe in a way because we were hidden,” said Nora Davis, a Beaufort High Sophomore.

“At first we thought it was a drill but then we heard rumbling upstairs and I was scared, but I’m just glad to be alive,” said Topaz Williams-Fripp.

A sentiment echoed by everyone here, especially all those worried parents.

“It was devastating getting the news that we did,” said Ivory Williams-Fripp. “It really shook me up, really shook me up. But I am grateful that you are here and I love you.”

“I just had to see him and hug him and know that he was ok,” said Lindsey Burns. “It was very stressful. hoax or not a hoax, real or not it’s not something you want to hear.”

Q: “What have the last few hours been like?”
A: “I just can’t put it into words,” Lindsey says as she hugs her boy and starts crying.

The last students were sent home with their families at about 3 p.m. Wednesday. Counseling services will be available for anyone that needs them.

The investigation into what happened has just begun.

With so many schools around the state experiencing nearly the same issue and getting the same call, this is now more than just something for local police. The FBI is now in charge of the entire investigation.