Springfield student arrested after Facebook threat: 4 things to know

Feb 22, 2018
  • By Keisha Rowe
  • Staff Writer

A student at Springfield High School has been arrested after police said she made a Facebook post about a school shooting that went viral, including in multiple states.

Here’s four things you should know about the ongoing case.

» READ MORE: Attendance ‘light’ at Clark County Schools after threat, arrest made

1. ‘I will bring a gun to school tomorrow’

A post made by a fictitious account on Facebook sparked widespread concern among students and parents shortly after it was posted on Wednesday evening.

“I will not be telling people what my name is, but I will bring a gun to school tomorrow, so be prepared to hear shoots,” the threat said. “Yes, SHS is the school I want.”

Springfield Police Chief Lee Graf said the post was taken down soon after it was posted, but it had already gone viral. The Springfield News-Sun was sent the post many times by concerned parents and community members.

» RELATED: 4 students arrested as threats rock southwest Ohio schools

2. 16-year-old SHS student arrested

Clark County Sheriff’s Office Deputy Travis Russell said a female Springfield High School student was arrested at 10 a.m. Thursday at the school in connection with the threat. The sheriff’s office and Springfield Police Division executed a search warrant at a home on Tibbetts Avenue near Lincoln Elementary School around the same time, he said, and seized electronics that the student might have used to make the post.

No weapons were found at the home, Graf said.

Russell said the student will be charged with felony inducing panic in juvenile court.

» MORE COVERAGE: Springfield-Clark Career Technology Center investigates threat

3. Threat had widespread impact, FBI involved

Because of the vagueness of the post, Graf said, it was unclear which school the threat targeted. Students had saved it and reposted it online as a warning to other students, he said.

Many districts with schools matching the initials “SHS” took precautions.

“It was a fictitious account and it was shared approximately 11,000 times by yesterday evening,” Russell said. “The scope of this was enormous. It spanned approximately six states and multiple jurisdictions.”

Law enforcement from the police division, the sheriff’s office, Ohio Attorney General’s Office and the FBI worked throughout Wednesday night and Thursday morning and found the threat not to be credible, Graf said.

» READ MORE: Where do Ohio’s governor candidates stand on guns?

4. Attendance in schools low following threat

The threat comes on the heels of an 8-year-old student who brought a gun in a backpack to Simon Kenton Elementary School on Tuesday. Rumors of a gun being found at the high school on Wednesday also circulated on social media. Those rumors were untrue, Springfield City School Superintendent Bob Hill said.

No students were ever in danger Thursday, Hill said. However, the threats prompted extra Springfield police officers to be posted at Springfield High School on Thursday.

“We take threats very seriously,” Hill said.

» READ MORE: Superintendent: Springfield schools safe, even after gun in backpack

However, even with the added security, many students didn’t come to class, Hill said. He couldn’t give a specific number of absences but said attendance was “light.”