April Fools’ gunshots-in-college call not funny to cops

Angela Timmons (Spartanburg County Sheriff's Office)
Angela Timmons (Spartanburg County Sheriff’s Office)

A South Carolina woman’s April Fools’ joke wasn’t funny — at least not to police who arrested her for it.

Angela Timmons, a 54-year-old employee of Virginia College in Spartanburg County, fired off a text message on Tuesday morning to a family member saying that she heard gunshots inside the college and was hiding in the bathroom for her own safety. Timmons’ daughter then called 911 and deputies swarmed the college.

“I’m thinking Columbine High School, Sandy Hook, Virginia Tech,” Sheriff Chuck Wright told WHNS.

Then the daughter called police back. Another text from her mother stated that it was an April Fools’ joke.

“Text someone and tell them their tire’s flat,” Wright said. “We’re talking about death. It’s real. The people of Sandy Hook, when they see this online they’re not going to think it’s very funny. I don’t think it’s very funny.”

Wright told reporters Timmons has been arrested and will be charged with disturbing the schools, among other things.

Wright said his deputies responded to the scene fast, prepared for anything, prepared to give their lives for someone else only to learn it was a joke.

He also said the joke was not fair to the college, saying the employee made a bad choice that does not reflect the institution.

Lindsey Bever is a national news reporter for The Washington Post. She writes for the Morning Mix news blog. Tweet her: @lindseybever
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