A recent status posted on Facebook by a user named “Ray Andres” is now quickly spreading online. The user declared within the post that he was going to be bringing a gun to school and that people should prepare themselves. A follow-up post by the same user revealed that he intends to bring his gun to a school with the initials “SHS.” Several schools with the initials “SHS” have reacted accordingly and have coordinated with their respective police departments following the spread of the Facebook status. Concerned parents, students, and faculty members quickly contacted school officials and authorities after having come across the threatening status online.
Salem High School has announced that they have coordinated with the Salem Police Department and that several armed officers will be present at their campuses throughout the day. As reported by Salem News, authorities in Salem County, New Jersey are taking the threat very seriously and they are planning to post armed officers at other campuses around the city. Salem Police Chief J.T. Panezott revealed in an interview that they have already contacted Facebook and that the account that was used to post the threat had already been closed for several hours. Facebook is apparently still trying to pinpoint the location and identity of the user.
Similarly, the Sayre Borough Police Department in Bradford County, Pennsylvania is increasing its vigilance for the safety of its schools. A report from 23 ABC News has, however, clarified that the “SHS” being mentioned in the post may actually be referring to Springfield High School in Springfield, Ohio. It is not yet clear how exactly the news agency was able to come by the particular information. Nevertheless, other schools with the same initials are still on high alert until the issue is resolved.
Officials at the Springfield Police Department have also declared that they will be taking additional security measures just in case, but they still believe that the threat may have been just a hoax. Authorities also announced that there will be an increased police presence at the Springfield High School throughout the week until the issue is resolved. Springfield Police Chief Lee Graf announced on social media that they are currently coordinating with Facebook to locate the source of the post. Graf further exclaimed that once they identify the person responsible for the post, he or she will be “arrested, charged, and prosecuted.”