juvenile boys were being held at the Porter County Juvenile Detention Center
after police said that photos of the two of them holding guns were posted to
social media, along with a screenshot of Siri’s response to a query made by
one of them: “I am going to shoot up a school.”
occurred on Thursday and was investigated by the Valparaiso, Chesterton, and
All police agencies
concur that the post was a joke, that there was no credible threat to any
school at any time, and that the boys currently have no access to firearms.
According to the
VPD, a 13-year-old Chesterton Middle School student was visiting family in
Valparaiso on Thursday when he told Siri on his iPhone, “I am going to shoot
up a school.” Siri’s response--based on the boy’s location at the time--was
to identify multiple schools in Valparaiso. The boy then screenshot the
query and Siri’s response and posted it to social media, along with photos
of himself and a friend, a 14-year-old Duneland boy, holding guns.
Those photos are
now believed to have been taken in the fall of 2018, the PPD said.
contacts subsequently reported the post to the CPD, which contacted VPD. In
the course of interviewing the 13-year-old, VPD detectives developed
information on the 14-year-old boy, who was then interviewed by PPD and CPD
detectives. The 14-year-old “acknowledged that the photographs were taken
but denied involvement in making any threats,” the PPD.
Both boys were
transported to JDC on a delinquency charge of intimidation. The 14-year-old
is also facing a delinquency charge of criminal recklessness, based on the
photos of him posing with firearms.
The VPD said that
the 13-year-old “made no direct threat to a specific person, school, or
school system,” and that he “has no access to weapons and posted the picture
on social media as a joke.”
“The threat is not
believed to be credible at this time,” the VPD added. “However, these types
of communication are taken very seriously by the Valparaiso Police
Department and our community. We continue to work with the Valparaiso
Community Schools to ensure the safety of the students and staff.”
The PPD concurred:
“These threats are obviously taken very seriously and handled accordingly.”