UPDATE: Juvenile arrested in recent PHS shooting threat investigation

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PARKERSBURG, W.Va. (WTAP) - UPDATE: 12/12/18 6:15 P.M.

Parkersburg Police have arrested a juvenile suspect in connection with recent social-media threats to "shoot up" Parkersburg High School.

Police Chief Joseph Martin said officers began investigating on Dec. 3 after the school's resource officer received information about the threats being posted. That led to a lockdown and an increased police presence at the school on Dec. 4.

Martin said the juvenile appeared in court before Wood County Circuit Judge Jason Wharton on Wednesday, and the judge ordered the suspect placed in a secure juvenile facility pending further court proceedings.

Martin said the school-resource officer and detectives worked with school administrators to determine the origin of the threats. Several students were interviewed by investigators, and they provided some leads, he said.

In addition, Martin said police obtained a warrant for Facebook, which did not respond with the information until Tuesday. Then, armed with that information, he said detectives obtained a second warrant to obtain information from an unnamed Internet provider. That led investigators to the suspect, he said.

Detectives are continuing to review forensic evidence to determine if additional arrests will be made.

“The Parkersburg Police takes any threats of violence towards any school very seriously and will do everything to bring the responsible parties to justice,” Martin said.


UPDATE: 12/4/2018 9:15 p.m.

Students, parents and faculty scared after a threat is made against Parkersburg High School, but police say the social media posts were not credible.

Posts on various social media platforms said someone was going to quote "shoot up PHS tomorrow", meaning Tuesday. However, Principal Kenny DeMoss confirms the school day went on as planned.

Additional law enforcement were present before school started and through the morning as PHS was on lock down. Parkersburg Police Chief Joseph Martin says his department was made aware of the threat Monday.

He says they are working with Facebook to locate the author, but believes the post came from a fake account.

DeMoss says "We can't afford as an administrative staff or police force to have a bad day. We have to come in here and be ready at all times for anything that drops in our lap and we take everything seriously. So just communicating, being as transparent as we can without interrupting the investigation but I have a lot of faith in our law enforcement. And they'll find the people that are behind this."

A similar threat was made on social media a few months ago. Demoss says that student turned himself in at the time and was punished. He doesn't believe the two threats are connected.

ORIGINAL STORY: 12/4/2018, 11:54 a.m.
A lock down has been lifted at Parkersburg High School after a threat on social media that police say came from a fake account.

At this time Chief Martin of Parkersburg Police says there is no reason to believe the school is in danger. He says they were notified yesterday about a threat made on social media, and are working with Facebook to locate the author. He believes the post came from a fake account.

Additional law enforcement were present before school started and through the morning as the school was placed on lock down. Principal Kenny DeMoss says the lock down lasted just under an hour and a half.



 
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