Angela Timmons, 54, has been charged with breach of peace, disturbing schools and illegal use of a telephone, according to a release from Sheriff’s Lt. Tony Ivey.
Sheriff Chuck Wright said that more than a dozen deputies responded Tuesday morning to the Virginia College campus in Spartanburg. A woman had called 911, saying she got a text from her mother reporting that shots had been fired at the campus and that she was hiding, the sheriff said.
“I’m thinking Columbine High School, Sandy Hook, Virginia Tech,” Wright said, of what he prepared to see.
Instead, as deputies arrived, the daughter called back after getting another message from her mother, who said the initial text had been an April Fools’ prank, Ivey said. Deputies located Timmons, who works at Virginia College and admitted sending the message.
Timmons was released on bond Tuesday, and court records listed no attorney for her. After leaving jail, Timmons said she and her daughter typically exchange April Fools’ Day pranks but that she chose the wrong prank this year.
“Obviously, this was a terrible misunderstanding. I obviously chose a bad prank that my daughters and I always do,” Timmons said. “On April Fools’ each year we try to out prank each other and I obviously chose, thinking now with recent events, a bad one.”
Wright said he was thankful it was a joke but was very disappointed at the woman’s bad choice. He said no one would think it was a funny joke.