Erie High School Student Threatens to "Shoot Up" a School
Leaders at Cathedral Prep are taking extra precautions this morning, after a threat was posted on social media.
Erie Police have charged a juvenile with making terroristic threats, towards a local high school.
Police have charged the 17-year old as a juvenile, with Terroristic Threats and Disorderly Conduct.
Leaders at Cathedral Prep and Erie High School took extra precautions Friday morning, after the threat was posted on social media.
The student posted an image on social media Thursday night, it reportedly shows a student holding a M-4 assault rifle with the caption, "ready to shoot up the school tomorrow."
The teen is a student at Erie High, and a former student at Cathedral Prep. Police say it wasn't clear which school he was threatening.
Fr. Scott Jabo, President of Cathedral Prep, sent a message to Cathedral Prep and Villa Maria Academy parents saying the student no longer attends Cathedral Prep, but currently is attending another school.
The message also noted they believe there is no danger to the school or students. However, parents were allowed to keep their child home from school if they wished, "We feel that the threat had been addressed, the police department has been very helpful in investigating this and making sure that the threat had been addressed appropriately," said Fr. Jabo. "Nonetheless, it's something to be taken seriously because you never know in this day and age," Fr. Jabo continued.
"We did notify families this (Friday) morning before school that this incident did occur and it was addressed before school started," said Erie School Superintendent Brian Polito. "Safety is our number one concern up at Erie High, we put some strong support systems in there for our students, and I'm confident we are ready to address those type of incidents. And I think the response last night was a credit to that whole system is working," Polito continued.
Thursday night, after police were made aware of the threat, Erie police tracked the student down and brought the teen in for questioning. The teen requested a lawyer and at that time, did not speak to police about the threat.
Police recovered the gun he used to make the threat, which turned out to be an Airsoft gun.
Chief Don Dacus says juvenile probation would not authorize the teen's arrest Thursday night, so police had to let him go.
So, the Erie Police Department provided Cathedral Prep and Erie High with a special police presence Friday morning, "Just out of an abundance of caution, we did a special attention and staged officers at both schools, since we had to release him last night. He did show up at Erie high school this morning, where he was taken into custody," said Chief Dacus.
Chief Dacus said the student arrived to school with his parents to meet with the school principal. He was arrested after juvenile probation authorized his arrest in the morning, Chief Dacus says there was no indication he was at the school to carry out the threat on Friday morning, just to meet with the school administration.
This threat of gun violence comes in the wake of the deadliest mass shooting in our county's history, in Las Vegas, "At no time can we be afforded the luxury of assuming anything, we have to take everything serious," said Chief Dacus. "This isn't the time to be joking around, it was a terrible stunt to pull, bad timing," Dacus continued.
The juvenile charged is being held at the Edmund L Detention Center.