KEARNS, Utah – Unified Police Department (UPD) officers from the Kearns Precinct announced they had charged a 13-year-old with terroristic threats, after he allegedly posted a picture with an airsoft rifle, warning students “not to come to school Monday.”
According to a press release made by UPD, the suspect posted a picture on Snapchat, which showed the rifle on his lap. Police were able to identify the individual, who is a student at Thomas Jefferson Junior High School. Officers responded to the suspect’s residence, where they interviewed him and his parents.
“It was determined that the gun pictured was an Airsoft rifle, and there was no immediate threat to the school,” UPD said. “Based on the threat in the social media post, the student was charged with Terroristic Threats, which is punishable as a third-degree felony (Utah Code 76-5-107). He was left in the care of his parents and will await administrative action by Granite School District.”
According to Ben Horsley with the Granite School District, three students have been removed from school for posting seemingly threatening photos or videos online since the Florida school shooting.
Horsley stated that students have been reporting the incidents when they see them, but teachers are concerned that some will become desensitized, and will cease to speak up. Students who posted threatening images or videos have said that they were making a joke, but the school district and police say that any type of threat is not a laughing matter.
UPD stated that it takes all threats on schools as serious, regardless of their nature.