CLEVELAND HEIGHTS, Ohio (WJW) – A 16-year-old boy is in custody after police say he made online threats “to shoot up the school” Monday afternoon.
Cleveland Heights Police Chief Annette Mecklenburg said the threat was posted online during school hours. Moments after the threat was made, the school was placed on lockdown.
The building was searched and no weapons were found.
Detectives and school officials worked together to try and find the person responsible for making the online threat.
On Tuesday, officers arrested a 16-year-old boy they say is responsible for making the posts. The boy is a Cleveland Heights High School student who is attending classes virtually.
“He is facing charges of making terroristic threats and inducing panic,” the chief said. The boy was taken to the Cuyahoga County Juvenile Detention Center and is expected in court soon.
School officials in Berea, Elyria and Lake County have experienced similar threats the past few days.
The Lorain County Sheriff’s Office on Monday said a 13-year-old was charged for allegedly making threats on social media directed at Westwood Middle School in Elyria Township.
“Unfortunately we see these a lot when you have a national incident, perhaps like what happened in Michigan,” said Lt. Robert Vansant of the Lorain County Sheriff’s Office. “You see a lot of copy cats, kids that just jump on the band wagon and do it and they think it’s a joke, but we don’t take those lightly. We will not.”
The Cleveland Heights police chief agrees.
“It’s not something that should be a joke, “ Mecklenburg said. “It’s not funny. People need to understand if you are going to put something out there like that, then know that police are going to take it seriously, we are going to come looking for you and we are going to find you.”