UPDATED: Law enforcement seeking juvenile male suspect related to school threat
WORTHINGTON — The Worthington Police Department is attempting to locate and arrest a juvenile male in connection with an early Monday morning threat made toward Worthington High School.
WPD Sgt. Tim Gaul reported just after 1:30 p.m. Monday that the department is confident it has positively identified a 17-year-old juvenile male that posted an "ambiguous" threat to Snapchat. A warrant has been issued and he'll be arrested for terroristic threats once he's located, Gaul said. The juvenile reportedly resides in Worthington but does not attend a Worthington school.
"We're confident that we have this taken care of," Gaul said, stressing that he doesn't believe the public needs to be too concerned.
Officers will continue to provide extra security at District 518 buildings until the suspect has been taken into custody, Gaul added.
The threat was reported to school administration around 7:30 a.m. by another student. Administration then alerted WPD, which began further investigation.
Although not confirmed, Gaul said the weapon depicted in the Snapchat image was possibly an Airsoft gun.
Gaul was positive about the relationship that has been built between a school administrator and students, which was demonstrated early Monday.
"This was a really good situation between an administrator at the school who kids feel comfortable enough with to come and talk to," Gaul said. "That relationship is invaluable."
"The sad thing with these threats," Gaul added, "is no matter what kind of relationship these kids have with the administration, the school, the police — it doesn't take long to make a huge mistake on the internet and say something stupid."
Original post: Classes at Independent School District 518 are in session Monday with heightened security after a reported threat made on social media was deemed non-credible, district administration confirmed mid-Monday morning.
According to a district spokesperson, the school was made aware of a threat that mentioned Worthington High School shortly before classes began Monday morning.
The district reported immediately contacting the Worthington Police Department to investigate. The WPD deemed the threat "non-credible." Heightened security is reportedly present at all district buildings.
The district notified parents by its messaging system.