North Texas

Teen Arrested After Students Report Threats Made Over Snapchat

The threatening messages were seen on Snapchat Feb. 5

A 16-year-old boy was arrested Saturday and is accused of sending a school shooting threat through Snapchat messages, Rowlett police said.

The arrested student attends Sachse High School, police said. His name was not released because he is a juvenile.

Students at Rowlett High School reported seeing messages on social media last Tuesday, police said. Additional officers were assigned to the campus while detectives tracked the source of the messages, police said.

"Those monikers are not going to hide you," said Rowlett police detective Cruz Hernandez. "We will eventually find out who you are, where you created that account and you will be held accountable."

Police said the suspect and his family were cooperative in the investigation. The suspect admitted to creating the Snapchat account and sending the messages. Police would not comment on a motive for the messages, but said detectives don't believe the suspect had access to guns.

The teen faces a misdemeanor charge for threatening the use of a firearm.

"Threatening schools is never a joke and it will never be taken as a joke," Hernandez said.

He added that students who reported the messages to school officials and police did the right thing.

"That's exactly what we want the students to do," Hernandez said. "We want them to notify law enforcement, notify a responsible adult like your parents, a teacher or principal."

Parent Amy Greer said her daughter saw screenshots of messages that threatened a shooting. Greer said her 16-year-old called her at work last week.

"My daughter called me in a panic," Greer said.

Greer said she told her daughter to go straight to the office.

"It makes me proud to know that my child took action and called me," Greer said. "That makes me feel good that she knew exactly what actions to take at exactly what time to take them."

Garland ISD later sent messages to families that read, in part:

"A student reported that there was a post on social media with a threat to the campus. We contacted the Rowlett Police Department, and they are investigating. The safety and security of our students and staff is our top priority, and whenever anything is reported to us, we investigate it quickly, as was done in this case. I commend and thank those who reported this to campus administration."

Garland ISD said it encouraged students to bring any concerns directly to teachers and staff. Students or parents can also report problems anonymously through the Anonymous Alerts program. Families can access the app or webpage to report bullying, crime, threats or other concerns. The app allows real time chat with an administrator, even if the report is anonymous.

Across North Texas, four people have been arrested over school threats. In the last two weeks, Denton, HEB and Fort Worth ISDs have also reported incidents that ended in the arrest of a student. 

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