Bladen County investigating third school threat after two recent arrests

BLADEN COUNTY, NC (WWAY) – The Bladen County Sheriff’s Office began investigating a third threat against a Bladen County school, moments after announcing they had arrested two teens for doing the same thing.

Sheriff’s Office Spokesman Larry Guyton says deputies are in the process of arresting two teens right now for a threat made on Snapchat.

This makes the third school threat investigation since Wednesday.

On January 18, the Bladen County Sheriff’s Office received word that several students from West Bladen High School had received Instagram messages to stay away from school because of an act of violence would be committed the next morning.

“Once we received this information we worked with Dr. Robert Taylor and the faculty at West Bladen to insure the absolute safety off all students and staff. We had several officers at the school before it opened and we put every student through a metal detector,” said Sheriff James McVicker.

McVicker said investigators worked with the Federal Bureau of Investigation to track down the Instagram account and IP address it came from. All students who received the message were questioned and this investigation lead to the arrest of a 15-year-old on Friday.

The teen was charged through a juvenile petition with Making a False Report Concerning Mass Violence on Educational Properties, a Class H Felony punishable by 10 years in prison if an adult.

The teen is under electronic house arrest pending a hearing.

On Friday night, the Sheriff’s Office once again received a report of a second threat against a school, this time Bladenboro Middle School.

These threats were also threatening violence at a school. Investigators worked through the weekend and arrested another 15-year-old.  This second teen was also charged with Making a False Report Concerning Mass Violence on Educational Properties and is also under electronic house arrest pending a court hearing.

“We had additional officers at the school Monday morning as a precaution but had no further trouble and again no students or faculty were ever in danger. These kids need to understand that technology is such we can find where a social media message came from,” said McVicker. “I am also proud of the students who overheard or were told by the suspect that he intended to commit harm at school. By reporting this, we were able to get on it immediately and stop any potential threat. I encourage all students to tell an adult when they hear another child threatening violence at a school. We, as well as school officials take this type of action very seriously. We will not tolerate this type behavior.”

The third threat came in late this afternoon. The teens involved are 14-years-old and 16-years-old. No word yet on which school was allegedly threatened. We’ll have more details as they become available.

Categories: Bladen, Local

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