Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

False Alarm, but Moments of Real Fear; Report of Gunmen near Beaches School Wednesday Generates Panic

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

False Alarm, but Moments of Real Fear; Report of Gunmen near Beaches School Wednesday Generates Panic

Article excerpt

Byline: Drew Dixon & Dan Scanlan

JACKSONVILLE BEACH Police are still baffled by what prompted a man to call dispatchers claiming to see armed gunmen near a school that resulted in moments of panic, worried parents and a whole lot of law enforcement mobilization for what turned out to be a false alarm Wednesday.

Ron Taylor knew something was wrong at Fletcher Middle School when he saw a police helicopter overhead at 9 a.m. Wednesday after dropping off his daughter there.

About 50 officers and 10 locked-down schools later, officials said a 911 call to Jacksonville Beach police forced them to surround the campus and search for gunmen the caller saw going inside.

Taylor said he "came flying" back to school, only to find it cordoned off. It took 90 minutes more for him and other parents waiting outside to hear the all-clear on the school's PA system.

"I was crying coming up here, but once I spoke to her, I felt better," Taylor said. "They wouldn't tell the kids what was going on. …

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