HOLLYWOOD (CBSMiami) – Hollywood Police say an alert student at South Broward High School saw a weapon on campus during an altercation between students, reported the weapon to her parents and the parents contacted authorities, sparking a code red lockdown on campus and a massive sweep for a weapon.
The search turned up a BB gun in a student’s backpack and police say two people are in custody.
It caused terrifying moments for students, teachers, staff and parents for about 90 minutes Tuesday afternoon. Fortunately, no one was hurt. Cellphone video obtained by CBS4 showed tense moments when police with rifles across their chests stood in a classroom as students walked around.
Ariana Miranda was on her way to class when she heard about the code red for a gun on campus.
“I keep telling myself ‘It’s gonna be ok, it’s gonna be ok,’” Miranda said. “It’s terrible. Why do we have to do this? I want to learn. I don’t want to be scared.”
Miranda broke down into tears describing the fear and anxiety over guns on campus and the disruption to her educational career.
“Why are people doing this, like bringing guns? This isn’t a place for guns. This is a place to learn. I want to have a good future,” she said.
Other students described moments of terror.
“I stayed in the bathroom for a couple of minutes,” said student Yaunick Terry. “I heard a lot of people running so I got scared so I jumped the gate and waited outside.
“I was focused on my well being. I wanted to stay alive by any means necessary.”
South Broward High School sent out a robocall to parents saying a student on campus saw a gun and spoke up:
“We are proud of one of our students for seeing something and saying something regarding a gun on campus. Our school staff and SRO responded immediately to safely resolve the situation and confiscated a BB gun in a backpack.”
The situation hit close to home for Debbie Hixon, whose husband Chris was murdered at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland.
She is a teacher at South Broward and had just finished lunch when the code red started. At first, she thought the code red was a drill. It wasn’t.
Hixon said she’s grateful no one was hurt but said there is still trauma especially because her son who has special needs is constantly worried about her.
“He thinks that I’m not going to come home like his dad didn’t come home,” she said. “And so once you’re over and you realize you’re safe, you just get mad. I’m so mad. Why does this keep happening?”
She believes a big part of the problem is that our culture has glorified guns.
“We have to do something to change this,” she said. “It can’t continue to go on.”
After hearing about the Code Red, frantic parents checked their phones for updates from their kids and arrived at the school to see Hollywood Police all over campus. One parent said she wants to see metal detectors on campus.
“I’d like the district to put some metal detectors in or something else besides letting the students go on the campus because they could have anything in their backpack and no one knows,” said Tracey Harris, who has two students at the school.
CBS4 asked the Hollywood Police spokesperson if there was a specific threat communicated against South Broward High School. They told us that remains under investigation.