screenshot of a teenage boy holding a gun and threatening students and staff
at a “Washington High School” caused the Porter County Sheriff’s Police
several hours of grave concern late Monday afternoon, after the screenshot
popped up on a county resident’s Facebook feed.
subsequently determined that the screenshot originated in Tacoma, Wash., and
that no local school had been threatened.
police, around 3:30 p.m. Monday the PCSP’s received a message on its
Facebook page from a citizen who’d seen the Snapchat screenshot on Facebook.
The message at the bottom of the screenshot: “Don’t come to school
tomorrow.” The message accompanying the post on Facebook: “Everyone who goes
to Washington High School.”
“There were obvious
concerns locally, not knowing if this threat was in regards to Washington
Township High School,” PCSP Sgt. Jamie Erow said. “Our detectives worked
quickly to ascertain information on the threat and a suspect.”
In under three
hours, investigators succeeded in tracing the original Snapchat screenshot
to a 15-year-old boy in Tacoma, Wash., and the original Facebook post to a
16-year-old girl there. The Pierce County, Wash., Sheriff’s Department, and
the local Washington HS School Resource Officer both confirmed that the boy
in the screenshot “was their kid,” who “did not pose any threats to our
local kids in Indiana,” Erow said.
informed our detectives that they have been inundated with phone calls from
across the country in reference to this case and this juvenile,” Erow added.
Both the boy and
the girl were taken into custody earlier on Monday, Erow said.
the concerned citizen who shared this with us, allowing us to quickly
eliminate any threat in our area,” Erow noted. “The East Porter County
Schools Superintendent has been notified as well as the School Resource
Officer. This incident was resolved in a matter of two and a half hours from
the time we received the message to confirmation with Pierce County
Sheriff’s Office Detectives.”