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And Laurens Police said they confiscated a toy gun at a school; there will be no criminal charges


A violent thunderstorm ripped through the Clinton area early Thursday. Pictured is utility pole work on Highway 308 at Compton Road, repairing a cracked pole.

A truck driver, Daniel Tisdale of Laurens, died about 2:45 a.m. on Leesville Church Road when a 2006 Kenworth truck collided with a tree in the road, the Highway Patrol said; as of 8:44 a.m. the tree was still being cut away from the truck’s cab. This happened 3 miles north of Clinton near the intersection with Forest Drive. Widespread power outages were reported and repairs were being made through today. Clinton Middle School announced it was delaying the administration of a standardized test, SCReady writing, from Thursday to Friday morning because students were affected by power outages at their homes. Outages also were reported in the Calvert Avenue area of Clinton. Greenwood School District 52 announced an eLearning day because of power outages in the Ninety Six area of neighboring Greenwood County. West of Laurens, Anderson was hard hit, and county offices closed because of power outages, reports said. -- Photo by Vic MacDonald

Damage in Honea Path here.

In a separate incident today, a toy gun was found at Laurens’ Sanders Middle School.

Laurens Police Department


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Date: May 9, 2024

Swift Response Ensures Safety: Laurens Police and LCSD 55 Address Potential Weapon at Middle School. 

(Laurens, SC) – At approximately 9:15 a.m., This morning, authorities' swift and coordinated response from the Laurens Police Department and Laurens County School District 55 (LCSD 55) at Sanders Middle School. Authorities were alerted to a possible weapon on campus, prompting immediate action. 

Upon thorough investigation, authorities determined that the reported threat was unfounded. A convincingly realistic toy water pistol was discovered in the possession of a student from Sanders Middle School. The individual responsible has been detained, and the toy confiscated, affirming that there is no genuine danger to the school, its students, or the wider community. 

In collaboration with School Administrators and LCSD 55 Schools staff, the Laurens Police Department conducted a comprehensive search of Sanders Middle School, ensuring the utmost safety for all occupants. The investigation concluded there are no present threats to the school. 

As a precautionary measure, heightened security protocols have been implemented across the district to reassure students, parents, and staff of their safety. School operations have resumed at the normal time without any disruption. 

The individual responsible, identified as a juvenile student at Sanders Middle School, will face appropriate consequences in accordance with the LCSD 55 School Discipline Policy. No criminal charges have been filed against the student at this time, however immediate disciplinary actions are being handled internally by LCSD 55. 

This incident underscores the commitment to transparency and the unwavering dedication of the Laurens Police Department and LCSD 55 in promptly and effectively addressing and neutralizing potential threats. We commend the exceptional partnership between LPD and LCSD 55 in ensuring the safety of our schools and students. 

For further inquiries or information, please contact Public Information Officer (PIO) Lt. Brandon Davis at the Laurens Police Department or Laurens District 55. 


This information is authorized for public release and dissemination by Chief Heath C. Copeland Jr.

Important Community Update from Laurens County School District 55 - Reference Sanders Middle School
We want to inform you about an incident at Sanders Middle School (SMS). This morning, the SMS Administration and School Resource Officer (SRO) were made aware of a possible weapon brought on campus. Upon swift investigation, the SMS Administrators and the SRO found the suspected weapon to be a toy water pistol.
The district confirms that SMS was under no threat. SMS teachers and staff remain safe and engaged in learning. The district will address concerned students using the appropriate Disciplinary Code of Conduct.