Three schools went on lockdown after gunshots and screaming. The commotion was from a gender reveal, police say.

"[He] fired celebratory rounds from a handgun into the air, and the expectant mother screamed out of excitement of the news of a baby boy."

It was early afternoon on Wednesday when a series of gunshots rang out in a Murfreesboro, Tenn., neighborhood. A scream followed.

A concerned neighbor dialed 911, and within minutes, three schools — blocks away from where the caller heard the gunfire — went into lockdown. Police feared there was an active shooter.

But there was no need for concern, the officers learned once they arrived at the scene. The gunshots were simply part of a gender-reveal celebration, police said. No one was hurt.

“It was found to be expectant parents making a gender revealing phone call to out of county family members,” the Murfreesboro Police Department said in a statement.


The father had fired his handgun into the air to celebrate the news — he and the mother were having a boy, police said.

Officers cited the father with unlawful discharging of a firearm.


The incident is the latest in a series of gender reveals gone wrong. The practice became popular following a 2008 parenting blog post, but over the years the stunts have grown increasingly elaborate and sometimes deadly. In February, an expectant father in New York died after a device he was making with his brother to release pink or blue smoke exploded unexpectedly. In a separate incident in March, a small plane emitting a pink cloud off the coast of CancĂșn, Mexico, crashed, killing both the pilot and co-pilot.


In April, a New Hampshire man detonated about 80 pounds of explosives as part of a reveal, causing a thundering explosion and cracking the foundations of nearby homes. A couple last September set off a smoke bomb, igniting a wildfire in Southern California that led to the death of a firefighter working to put out the blaze. A San Bernardino County district attorney charged the couple with manslaughter.

The neighbor of the expectant parents in Tennessee called police at about 1:30 p.m. on Wednesday after hearing the gunshots and scream next door in Murfreesboro, a town about 35 miles southeast of Nashville.


Oakland High School, Oakland Middle School and John Pittard Elementary School, which are in the same neighborhood, went on precautionary lockdown, WKRN reported. Rutherford County Schools did not immediately respond to a request for comment late Thursday.

Once police learned there was no active shooter, the schools quickly lifted the lockdowns, law enforcement said.

The gunshots and screaming, police learned, were just an expression of the expectant parents’ excitement about their baby. While on the phone with family, the father went outside to celebrate.

“[He] fired celebratory rounds from a handgun into the air,” police said, “and the expectant mother screamed out of excitement of the news of a baby boy.”


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