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Teen charged with making threat against H-F High, second threat turned over to FBI

Felony charges have been filed against a 16-year-old Homewood-Flossmoor High School student in connection to threats made against the high school, and H-F officials report that school will be open Monday. [Updated.]

Flossmoor police issued a statement Sunday afternoon saying the juvenile was charged Saturday, Oct. 27, by the Flossmoor Police Department with a Class 4 disorderly conduct felony for threats of violence to a school.

A new threat made on a social media platform was reported on Sunday, Flossmoor police said. 

“It was quickly determined to be a copycat threat that was identified, with assistance from the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Illinois State Police, to be located on the East Coast of the United States,” police officials said. “Given that this threat is outside of the state of Illinois and therefore, outside of the jurisdiction of the Flossmoor Police Department, the investigation was handed over to federal investigators.”

The incident on Saturday involved postings on multiple social media sites showing a photo of a firearm with indications that an attack on the high school was planned for Monday. 

Police identified the individual responsible and a parent brought him in for questioning, according to the statement. Police said the legitimacy of the threat was dispelled after the juvenile informed investigators that his social media post was the result of a dare and that he did not have access to any guns.

H-F Superintendent Von Mansfield and Principal Jerry Lee Anderson also released a statement Sunday afternoon, noting that there appears to be no immediate threat to students or staff. They said the second threat appeared to be an attempt to draw attention away from the individual charged in the threat on Saturday.

“School will be open on Monday, Oct. 29,”  the administrators said. “The Flossmoor Police Department does not believe there to be a credible threat to our school tomorrow.”

Police said there would be additional law enforcement presence at the school.

“While we do not have any reason to believe that our schools will be subject to any credible threat tomorrow, the Flossmoor Police Department with the assistance of Cook County and neighboring jurisdictions, will increase our police presence,” officials said. “We are fully prepared for additional copycat threats to occur and each one will be investigated for credibility.”

Flossmoor police thanked area residents and officials for reporting the ongoing threats that aided in the apprehension of the individual involved as well as the support of area law enforcement agencies, the FBI and the State’s Attorney’s Office.

Update: H-F High School officials issued another statement Sunday night regarding additional threats made on social media:

“We have received final confirmation from the Homewood Police Department that the latest social media threat we received this afternoon was also a copy-cat and not credible. This post targeted a group of our students and was found to originate from an individual from another state. The police departments will continue to be vigilant and investigate every threat against our school.”

School will be in session Monday, but administrators said:

“We realize that many of our families and students may feel apprehensive about attending school tomorrow and we understand that you will make a decision that is best for your family.”

 

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