From the desk of Chief Mike Justice:
This lengthy post is intended to clear up the rumors and spread of misinformation surrounding the investigation that occurred both off campus, as well as on campus of Lebanon High School (LHS), over the past two days. It is also to provide a clear accounting of the investigation that has been ongoing. On 01/25/23, the Lebanon Police Department was notified and responded to an altercation that was occurring off campus adjacent to the high school. Upon arrival, the incident had broken up and most all parties had left the scene. A short time later, the Department was notified of a possible shots fired call within Weatherly Estates located on Franklin Rd. At the officer’s arrival, a vehicle was found to have several strikes from a reported rifle. LPD investigators began an investigation which led to an arrest of a male juvenile that did confirm that he had in fact fired the weapon in question. At that time, the LPD notified the public of the arrest, we also advised that the incident was still under investigation and that it would continue until all involved were identified.
On 01/26/23, investigators were made aware that a vehicle matching the description of another possible suspect in the prior incident was located off campus, across the street from the high school. The Lebanon Police Department deployed an Explosives/Gun Powder K9 Team to the location and after a positive indication by the K9 Team, the vehicle was secured for further investigation. During this portion of the investigation, a male was seen walking (during school hours) on the school drive closest to Hartmann Drive. As officers attempted to approach the male to determine his presence, he refused to comply with the officer’s requests and was temporarily taken into custody. It was determined that the male had been asked to leave the school for disciplinary reasons. He was released to a family member at that time.
To clarify, AT NO TIME had the Lebanon Police Department been advised or had it been reported that a firearm was involved or seen on campus of LHS. We have monitored the comment section of our social media and have notice comments that have indicated “firsthand accounts” of seeing a weapon. We are in the process of vetting those comments, we will also be making personal contact with those who have indicated the presence of weapons.
In closing, The Wilson County Sheriffs Office provides security and safety to our school system at an exemplary level. In fact, today is a prime example of the commitment the WCSO puts forth in the effort to make sure that our children are in a safe environment. We would also add that our Wilson County School District has always been cooperative with our officers/detectives, should we have business that involves the student body, in reference to incidents that have occurred off campus.
And finally, please be aware that not everything posted on social media is accurate and sometimes may have nefarious intent. It is our commitment to notify the public as to any information that we can, as we can. However, commenting on investigations as they are underway are at times difficult. As a parent of a child in our Wilson County school system, I am thankful for the efforts that are in place daily and especially for the actions taken by those who protect our children like they have the past 2 days.