The Yonkers Police Department received reports of school shooting threats making the rounds on social media against students at Lincoln High School at approximately 3:45 p.m. on Sunday, Oct. 13, Det. Lt. Dean Politopoulos said.
The threats contained specific language to carry out a school shooting with an intended number of victims to occur on Friday, Oct. 25, during a pep rally, prompting a police investigation.
Investigators found several social media posts that were shared on several platforms including Snapchat and Facebook. They then interviewed students and parents and were able to identify the origin of the posts.
According to police, investigators determined that a 15-year-old freshman at the high school was responsible for initiating the threats, and a 14-year-old friend who is a freshman at a different high school in Yonkers shared them online.
Police said the messages indicated that their intentions were to carry out a school shooting and amass 20 victims each, and with the help of a third person, achieve a total of at least 60 victims.
Both students were taken into custody and charged with making a terroristic threat, a violent felony. They were both arrested on Monday, Oct. 14 in front of their parents and will be processed as juvenile delinquents in the Family Court system. No further identifying information will be released.
Politopoulos said that investigators have determined these threats are limited to social media postings only. A search of their homes and backgrounds yielded no weapons or information that would indicate any means of implementing these threats at this time. The families of both students are cooperating with police.
Commissioner John J. Mueller stated, “The Yonkers Police Department takes any and every threat against our schools and students with the utmost seriousness. We will commit every resource to ensure the safety of our communities, especially our youth. Let these arrests be a warning to those young people that engage in online misbehavior, that these types of fear-inducing actions have serious consequences as these two teens have just learned.”
Schools Superintendent Edwin Quezada added, “the school district will be relentless in pursuing any individuals who threaten the safety of the students and staff in our schools, and who abuse social media. Their intolerable actions waste valuable Police and District resources, disrupt our schools and create unnecessary fear in the community. The school district works hand-in-hand with the Police and those individuals who generate this fear will be pursued to the full extent of the law.”
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