Charges pending after NC high school student posts gun threat on Snapchat

North Carolina news

A screenshot of the Snapchat threat (WFMY)

DAVIDSON COUNTY, N.C. — The Davidson County Sheriff’s Office said charges are pending against a student after they posted a threat involving rifles on social media Saturday night.

The student, who attends Central Davidson High School in Lexington, posted a Snapchat photo of five rifles with the caption “Don’t come to school on Monday,” according to Capt. Brian Grubb with the Davidson County Sheriff’s Office.

The school district and sheriff’s office praised the concerned parents who they say saw the concerning social media post and alerted the principal.

“Within an hour and a half of the post being posted on Snapchat, we had someone knocking on his door,” said Grubb. The student posted the Snapchat photo at about 9:15 p.m. on Saturday. The high school’s principal learned of the threat and then notified the school resource officer and sheriff’s office, Grubb said.

Investigators with the Davidson County Sheriff’s Office used the Snapchat account’s username to track down the student, visiting their home where the student was found with their parents.

Grubb could not share the student’s name or details about what the student told investigators at this time, but said the threat was not believed to be credible.

“There is no danger to our schools via this threat,” Grubb said.

Grubb said charges are pending against the student, but the sheriff’s office plans to speak with the district attorney on Monday before taking further action.

“We made contact with the student and parents last night. We pretty much handled everything there last night, but we are going to run it by the district attorney’s office and then we will be able to know tomorrow whether charges will be pursued or not,” said Grubb.

The student will also likely face a punishment at school, Grubb said.

‘Concerned parents’ alerted the school principal

Davidson County Schools Communications Director Tabitha Broadway sent WFMY News 2 a statement about the social media threat, applauding the concerned parents who reached out about the post.

“The principal of Central Davidson High School was alerted by concerned parents on Saturday evening about a threatening social media post by a student from the school. Principal Matt Coloton immediately contacted his School Resource Officer and began an investigation,” the press release says.

After law enforcement went to the student’s house, Principal Coloton sent a message to Central Davidson High School parents and students on Sunday “assuring them that swift and appropriate actions had been taken to respond to the posted threat.”

Here is Principal Matt Coloton’s full message to students and parents:

Good Afternoon Central Davidson Community. This is Mr. Coloton with an important message.

Last evening I was notified by several emails of a threatening social media post that Central students should not report to school on Monday. Immediately, proper authorities were notified and an investigation into this situation began by our Davidson County Sheriff’s office through the evening. As I speak to you now, I want to assure everyone the situation is fully under control and there is no credible threat to anyone’s safety upon returning to school tomorrow morning. Threats like this are taken seriously and will not be tolerated, even if falsely made and serious school and legal consequences will be administered.

So Spartan family, It is business as usual. I look forward to seeing everyone in the morning. Thank you”

The press release says Superintendent Emily Lipe worked with the sheriff during the situation, adding that any student who causes fear on campuses will face serious legal and school-administered consequences.

The press release did not share any specifics about what kinds of punishments this student would face.

‘See something, say something’

“When it is reported to us, we check on it of course, no matter what time of day or night it is. That way we know our schools can open our doors safely the next day of school,” said Grubb.

The Davidson County Sheriff’s Office urges students and parents to report any threats to authorities.

“Most of all, parental supervision is of the utmost importance,” said Grubb.

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