17-year-old arrested for threatening SHS

Published 11:08 am Wednesday, February 21, 2018

By Diana McFarland

Managing editor

A 17-year old Smithfield High School student was arrested Tuesday after posting threats to shoot up the school on Snapchat, according to Lt. Tommy Potter of the Isle of Wight County Sheriff’s Office. 

The male was charged with a Class 5 felony and taken to Chesapeake Juvenile Services where he awaits a detention hearing, according to Potter. 

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While the youth made a threat against the high school, an investigation did not uncover any means to actually carry it out, Potter said.

The Isle of Wight County Sheriff’s Office will maintain an increased presence at the schools this week. {mprestriction ids=”1,2,3,4,5,6″}

Isle of Wight County schools spokesperson Lynn Briggs said the division is sending a letter to parents this week outlining a new procedure for entry into school buildings.

School personnel will ask visitors for their names, reason for the visit and require that they show a photo I.D. to the camera before being allowed in, Briggs said.

This will result in some inconvenience initially because it’s a change, but it’s another layer of security the schools can add to regulate entry into the school, said Briggs. 

Potter said there are no additional credible threats being investigated at this time. 

Threats are taken seriously and can result in a felony charge, Potter said.

Just because it’s on social media and removed does not mean the originator can’t be traced, Potter said. It can, he added.

The Smithfield incident is part of a wave of threats being made on social media following a high school shooting in Florida in which 17 students and teachers were killed.

Potter ticked off a series of threats being made against schools around the Hampton Roads region, including Southampton High School, where an individual threatened on Instagram to shoot black people, Potter said.

A 16-year old girl was arrested Tuesday in connection with those threats, according to news reports. 

A 14-year old boy was arrested in Norfolk Monday for making threats against Lake Taylor Middle School, according to the Daily Press.  {/mprestriction}