Henrico Police investigate threats against schools, including Highland Springs High
HENRICO COUNTY, Va. (WWBT) - Henrico Police are investigating several social media threats made against schools in the metro region.
This comes just days after after two teens were shot at a Newport News high school; a 15-year-old was arrested in connection to the crime.
“This affects everyone, and that was only two hours away; that was a critical incident where someone was injured,” said Henrico Police Lt. Matt Pecka. “When we get threats like this on social media, they’re not taken lightly.”
Henrico County Public Schools said it was made aware of a troubling social media post Tuesday night, prompting an immediate investigation by the safety team and Henrico police.
“Threats with an individual holding a weapon and tagging area schools in those posts on social media platforms,” Pecka said.
One of those schools was Highland Springs High School. A Henrico parent contacted NBC12 worried about her child after she saw the social media post threatening harm at Highland Springs High School.
“There has been an expanded security and police presence today at Highland Springs High School, and the school community has been made aware of the situation,” said HCPS Chief of Staff Dr. Beth Teigen. “Our instructional day is proceeding on schedule. We take anything of this nature seriously, and the safety of our students and staff members is our top priority.”
Currently, investigators are working to determine the credibility of the threat.
“Anytime we gather or obtain information, we share that intelligence or information with other local law enforcement agencies so we can ensure everyone’s safety,” Pecka said.
This comes after Richmond Police and Richmond Public Schools announced Tuesday their agencies were also investigating threats in the city.
Social media threats were made against Huguenot High School on Monday and John Marshall High School on Tuesday.
A Richmond Schools spokesman said Wednesday they are working with police and Homeland Security to investigate and address any threats.
Meanwhile, police encourage families to have a blunt conversation about this ongoing issue.
“Ultimately there are consequences with these types of threats, it’s a felony,” Pecka said. “We really want to drive the message to have a conversation with your young ones, students, and children to ensure that this is not going on.”
Anyone with information about these threats is urged to contact police at (804) 501-5000 or submit anonymous tips by calling Crime Stoppers (804) 780-1000 or on your smartphone at p3tips.com.
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