Teen charged in social media threat toward Henry Co. school system
HENRY COUNTY, Tenn. — Local law enforcement and school administrators say they’re relieved after a potential threat was made to their school system.
The Henry County Sheriff’s Office has charged a 15-year-old in connection with a social media post that reads “I’m shooting up the school tmrw at 10.”
“Since the threat wasn’t specific to any certain school, we took precautions for each one,” Henry County Sheriff Monte Belew said. “With the extra security and extra manpower at the schools, working hand-in-hand with the schools and the students and the parents, that’s what made this thing come together.”
The investigation began Sunday night after several calls were made to the sheriff’s office with concerns of possible violence.
As a result, many parents kept their children at home.
“This particular website that this was posted on is based out of Saudi Arabia,” Sheriff Belew said. “It was difficult for law enforcement to obtain records and certain facts that we needed to progress the investigation.”
A suspect was eventually located, interviewed and given a polygraph test. Investigators say the teen confessed to sending the message. He was charged with possession of a weapon on school property after officers said he was found carrying a knife.
He was also charged for hoax-threatening of school shooting and communicating a threat concerning a school employee.
Thanks to extra patrols by the department with the help of the Paris Special School and Henry County School District, they’re relieved all 11 schools in the area were safe.
“We went on with our normal day and let our teachers know what was going on so that they could make sure that we were taking every precaution but not to alert the children, and we didn’t want anyone frightened,” PSSD Director of Schools Norma Gerrell said.
The teen was sent to the Rutherford County Detention Center until he appears in Henry County Juvenile Court.