School Threat Not Credible, Traced to Account in North Carolina
A social media post threatening violence at a school poses NO credible threat to Lafourche Parish. This was determined after investigators traced the source of the post to an account based in North Carolina. In the post, the user threatened to “shoot up” a school. While no school was specified in the post itself, the user’s profile indicated his hometown as “Cut Off, LA.” Investigators with the Forsythe County Sheriff’s Office in North Carolina made contact with the owner of the account, identified as a male teenager, and they are currently investigating the matter. They have determined there is no credible threat to any Lafourche Parish school.
The Lafourche Parish Sheriff’s Office began investigating late Wednesday after the post was discovered by federal authorities. In reviewing the social media profile, detectives learned early in the investigation that the user was likely located out of state, possibly in North Carolina. Detectives worked with the social media outlet, federal authorities, and the Forsythe County Sheriff’s Office, in an attempt to identify the social media user. After identifying the user of the account, detectives determined he had no known local ties to Lafourche Parish.
Additional resources were deployed to schools in the southern area of Lafourche Parish out of an abundance of caution Thursday morning as the investigation continued.
“It is not clear why this individual chose to list his hometown as Cut Off, but that alone was enough for us to act upon this threat,” said Sheriff Webre. “We understand this caused some panic in our community, but we want our citizens to know that we were on top of the investigation from the beginning. The additional resources we deployed to area schools were in the interest of the utmost safety of the children.”
Sheriff Webre also hopes this incident serves as a warning to others. “We have no choice but to take every threat seriously, especially when it threatens the lives of potentially hundreds of children,” said Sheriff Webre. “Let this be a lesson to anyone thinking of making threats on social media: there is no level of anonymity that will hide you. We will investigate every threat, we will find you, and we will be sure you are charged appropriately.”
The matter is currently under investigation by the Forsythe County Sheriff’s Office in North Carolina. Any criminal charges which arise from this case would be filed in that jurisdiction.
Posted on Thu, February 16, 2017
by The Lafourche Gazette