Vernon teen arrested for false reports of gun on school grounds
VERNON- An anonymous report of a firearm on a Washington County school campus activated secure lockdowns of Vernon schools yesterday afternoon.
At 1:58 p.m., January 27th, a WCSO School Resource Deputy, stationed at the Vernon High School, received a Fortify FL alert stating, “I’m at school with a gun.” The SRD responded immediately by placing the school on an active lockdown to secure the campus.
Additional law enforcement responded, and a search of the campus was conducted by deputies and school district personnel, clearing the alleged threat. As the lockdown was being released, information was provided to deputies, which led to the initial lockdown being reactivated and extended at VHS and an additional lockdown of the Vernon Middle School campus.
The VMS campus was searched, and the threat was deemed unfounded.
An investigation was then conducted by WCSO investigators, which led to the source of the statement being identified.
On January 28th, 14-year-old Wesley Ehrie was arrested after admitting to investigators that he was angry with his being placed into detention at school and accessed the Fortify FL site, while attending In School Detention, and submitted the statement.
Ehrie is now facing a felony charge of falsely reporting the use of a firearm in a violent manner and the interruption of school functions, which is a second degree misdemeanor.
“[That afternoon] held extremely tense moments for our community,” Sheriff Kevin Crews said. “I am sincerely grateful for the quick actions of the school district personnel. Every moving and working piece of what went into protecting our kids will never be seen. I am aware that in this line of work we will always find judgment being passed, with little to no knowledge of the true work and sacrifice that goes into keeping our kids safe, and that is okay. We can live with that. What we cannot live with is a threat to the safety of our children, or worse, a situation not taken seriously and a gunman on one of our school campuses. Thank you for the encouraging words and phone calls we have received following this incident; and to the parents that trusted us to do our jobs.”