KALAMAZOO, Mich. (WOOD) — Two teens face misdemeanor charges after allegedly posting threats to Kalamazoo-area schools online.
The 16-year-old girl and 14-year-old boy each face a count of threatening to commit violence against a school and a count of using a computer to commit a crime, the Kalamazoo County prosecutor told News 8 Wednesday.
The Kalamazoo Department of Public Safety says it was a team effort in tracking down the teens, according to Assistant Chief David Boysen.
“The sad thing was that 14-year-old that started this initial post, he posted because he wanted to stay home and play video games with his friends the next day,” he said.
Several schools in Kalamazoo County, including Loy Norrix High School, were closed this week after online threats were posted.
On Tuesday evening, authorities learned about an additional online threat made against Loy Norrix. Officers say they worked through the evening and early morning to identify a suspect, the 16-year-old. They then searched a home on Vanzee Avenue near Reed Avenue, where they found several electronic devices believed to have been used to post the threat. Officers say they didn’t find any weapons and it doesn’t appear the threat was credible.
The 14-year-old, of Kalamazoo, was also taken into custody Tuesday for posting a threat online. Several copycat threats were made after that post, police say.
Authorities ask that parents talk to their students about the seriousness of school threats. They say joking about threats or posting them somewhere else is just as serious.
“We just can’t overlook or look past or just say, oh well when somebody does something like this,” Getting said. “It’s far too damaging to the community.”
Law enforcement officers are issuing a warning to anyone thinking about making a threat.
“What you post online isn’t as anonymous as you think and we will do everything in our disposal to track them down and hold them responsible because we have to take these serious,” Boysen said.
Investigators say more people could be charged as police continue to investigate every threat.