Police says arrests are pending after threats to Petersburg schools

Police say there will be an increase in police presence at both schools throughout the week.
Published: Sep. 25, 2023 at 5:38 AM EDT|Updated: Sep. 26, 2023 at 3:15 PM EDT
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PETERSBURG, Va. (WWBT) - The Petersburg Bureau of Police says arrests are pending after threats were made on social media toward Petersburg High School and Vernon Johns Middle School.

The two schools experienced “controlled movements” at times on Monday and then again on Tuesday at the middle school.

“The threat was found to be unsubstantiated,” police said Tuesday afternoon. “We have identified individuals involved in making the threat, and arrests are pending.”

As part of the investigation, the Petersburg City Public Schools security team conducted backpack searches and required students to pass through a weapons detection system.

School officials released a statement Monday about the threat:

“PCPS takes the safety of our students and staff very seriously. In response to anonymous social media threats made against students at Petersburg High School and Vernon Johns Middle School, we acted quickly to alert the community and engaged with Petersburg Police to safeguard students and staff without disruption to learning. The division and police department took steps to protect students and staff by increasing security at the schools and closely monitoring the situation. The Petersburg Police have looked into this threat, and at this time, we are deferring all matters related to the investigation to them. We are grateful for our partnership with law enforcement and for the support of parents and staff.”

There are currently no details about what was said in the social media post.

Anyone with information is asked to call Petersburg Police at 804-732-4222 or Crimesolvers at 804-861-1212.