UPDATE | No criminal charges filed against two Evans High School students accused of making gun threats

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Wednesday, Aug. 10, 2016 | UPDATE 4:22 p.m.

COLUMBIA COUNTY, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) -- No criminal charges will be filed against the two Evans High School students after making a gun threat.

Columbia County Sheriff's Office, Major Steve Morris, confirms that 18-year-old Nathan Harding from Grovetown and 18-year-old Kaleb Smith from Martinez will not be charged and the case is now closed.

"We take any and all threats or potential threats very seriously," he said.

The big question the Sheriff's Office looked into before deciding whether to charge - if there was intent.

"Was there any intent? Right now we can't find any evidence whatsoever to support that," said Morris.

This comes after investigators said that Harding made a comment Tuesday to Smith that the lunch line would be a perfect opportunity for a school shooting.

More details to come on News 12 First At Five.


Wednesday, Aug. 10, 2016

COLUMBIA COUNTY, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) -- The names of two students who deputies interviewed after a threat was made about bringing a gun to Evans High School have been released.

According to Major Steve Morris of the Columbia County Sheriff's Office, 18-year-old Nathan Harding from Grovetown and 18-year-old Kaleb Smith from Martinez were interviewed about the incident.

Investigators said that Harding made a comment Tuesday to Smith that the lunch line would be a perfect opportunity for a school shooting.

Maj. Morris said both students have emotional and behavioral issues and both are in a special needs class at Evans High School.

Investigators say parents of both students were very cooperative and both homes were searched. No weapons or any evidence were found at the homes.

Maj. Morris says deputies are at Evans High School and will remain there throughout the day Wednesday.

Columbia County Schools says both Harding and Smith have been suspended pending a tribunal hearing. Columbia County Sheriff's Office says charges are pending the outcome of the investigation.



Tuesday, Aug. 9, 2016

COLUMBIA COUNTY, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) -- Columbia County deputies said two students are suspended from Evans High School after someone allegedly made a comment about bringing a gun to school.

In a Facebook post, the sheriff's office said it is aware of the potential threat and is investigating it. Additional deputies have been placed in the area, but are not directly on school grounds.

According to Maj. Steve Morris, deputies talked to the people involved Tuesday night.

Deputies said the two students were having a conversation when someone mentioned bringing a gun to school.

The sheriff's office said it takes threats against schools very serious, so although no direct threats were made, both students have been suspended pending a tribunal hearing.

Mike Sleeper, a member of Columbia County's school board, said every parent of a student at Evans High should have received a reverse-911 call from the school about the situation.

No word yet on how long the suspended students will be out of the classroom for.

Principal Mike Johnson said he thanks students for telling officials about the incident, so that they could immediately take action.

Stay with News 12 and NBC 26 for more information as it is released.