March 10, 2018

Three Tacoma students face charges for threatening schools on social media

    Three Tacoma students face charges for threatening schools on social media

TACOMA, Wash. – The Pierce County Prosecutor’s Office has charged three students-ages 12, 15 and 17-with felony harassment after making separate threats against their schools.

On Friday Feb, 23, the 17-year-old reportedly made threats to “shoot up” Spanaway Lake High School while he was on the school bus.

According to the prosecutor’s office, the teen told others, “You may not want to come to school on Monday, because I am going to shoot up the school.” A student who heard him make the threat called 911.

The 17-year-old denied making the threats, but police were able to hear him talk about shooting up the school over the bus surveillance video. 

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On Saturday, Feb. 24 in an unrelated case, Tacoma police investigated a series of threats against Lincoln High School that were posted on Snapchat. One of the posts showed the 15-year-old suspect with a gun. Another post included a photograph with text over it that read, “if I am a school shooter, I’ll go after all the people I hate and then go rampaging.”

A parent later shared the Snapchat posts on Facebook to try and warn the school and community. The teen was arrested the following day.

In the third case, at Truman Middle School, a 12-year-old student was suspended after threatening the school on Feb. 2. 

Within a day or so, the 12-year-old reportedly asked others on Snapchat if anyone had a gun. This was reported to the school and the student was expelled. 

 On Feb. 23, several students told staff members that the former student was still threatening the school. The threats were made on Instagram, and students said the kid posted a picture of a semiautomatic gun. He also reportedly stated he would shoot up the school on Monday. 

When questioned by police, the middle schooler denied making any threats.

All three youths were ordered to be held in secure detention while their cases proceed.