LIMESTONE COUNTY, Ala. – Two teens in Limestone County are in trouble after sheriff’s deputies say they damaged three cars parked outside two schools last week. But, that’s not the only reason why parents are upset.
Last Friday, Ashley Bennington says she walked out of school to find the glass on her car was shattered.
“I started crying because I was thinking, ‘What is mom going to do? Am I going to get in trouble?'” Bennington said.
“At first, the assumption was maybe a rock went through it,” Bennington’s mother Stephanie Riggle said.
But a closer inspection and a look at the surveillance video at Clements High School showed vandals shot out the glass on two cars parked outside.
“The primary reason we’re here is to alleviate a lot of concerns from the Clements community,” Stephen Young from the Limestone County Sheriff’s Office said.
On Thursday, Limestone County deputies arrested 18-year-olds Dwain Lemar Croskey Jr. and Caeleb Ryan Kegley for the crime. Even though deputies say the two used a BB gun, parents became upset when they didn’t get an alert from the school.
“We believed at that time that if we sent it out, we would’ve created mass confusion, chaos, and alarm unnecessarily,” Limestone County schools superintendent Dr. Tom Sisk said.
Dr. Sisk admits that over the last six days, upset parents and neighbors fearing the worst spurred talk of a potential attack at Clements.
“In the absence of information, people created their own storyline,” Dr. Sisk said.
Dr. Sisk says after looking closer at the comments on social media, they didn’t think the threat was credible. But he says they have to take it seriously. So, Limestone County will have extra deputies stationed at Clements High School on Friday.
“If somebody comes onto our campus and tries to hurt our kids, we are going to do everything we can do deal with them,” Dr. Sisk said.
Croskey Jr. and Kegley are charged with six counts each of shooting into an unoccupied vehicle.
They also are charged with third-degree criminal mischief for a vehicle found with its tires slashed at Tanner High School the same day.
More arrests are pending, authorities said.
Rumors of a threat at Clements High after the shootings were discovered last week have been investigated and determined to be unfounded, authorities said. The sheriff’s office plans to have extra deputies at county schools Friday.
Limestone County Schools Superintendent Tom Sisk said in the news conference that school was safe, and students should not stay home Friday.
“There’s been enough damage done because of this act by these two individuals or more, and we don’t want to see any other further consequences to the students of this campus,” Sisk said. “And so parents, please know we’re doing everything we can to keep your kids safe and to address it directly and decisively.”