Detroit schools received 40 threats since February, 4 arrests so far: chief
DETROIT (WJBK) - In the wake of the deadly Parkland shooting last month, Detroit schools have received 40 threats since February and four people have been arrested in connection, according to the chief of police.
In a press conference Thursday, Detroit Police Chief James Craig addressed the recent string of threats, announcing 40 had come in since Feb. 14, and 23 threats specifically in the last 24 hours. He says three juveniles and one adult have been arrested in separate cases: two 14-year-old males, a 16-year-old male, and a 17-year-old male.
The district has received multiple threats since the Parkland, Florida shooting at Stoneman Douglas High School.
For example, Detroit Western International Academy received an anonymous Snap Chat on March 19. Police say the threat claimed "I'm gonna shoot up Western, don't come to school on Tuesday unless you want your brains on a dry erase board."
Craig took to the podium to warn both students and parents that making these threats is serious. He says many student think their threats are anonymous.
"We have the tools, we have the technology ... to identify you," he said.
He added they have a unit dedicated to assessing these threats, and that children should never bring weapons to school.
"This isn't just a metro Detroit issue, this is a national issue," said Michigan State Police Lt. Mike Shaw.
He says this is not a joke - not a day off. He added that parents are responsible and should know their children's passwords.
"We're coming for you too," he said.
Watch the press conference in full on FOX 2 News Now:
Earlier this month, the Detroit school district released the following statement regarding the threats:
"This week, the District was made aware of anonymous threats of violence against several of our schools through social media messages. In response, we are working closely with the FBI Violent Crime Task Force to fully investigate these situations as they arise.
Threats against schools are treated very seriously, and if there are any students who are determined to have made such threats, they will face consequences through the DPSCD's Code of Conduct, as well as potential legal consequences.
Please know that the safety of our students and staff is one of our primary concerns and any threats of violence, even if deemed not credible, are taken very seriously. As a precautionary measure and to reassure parents, students and staff, there will be heightened police presence at schools named in these messages until the source of the threat is determined."
More than a dozen other Metro Detroit schools have received similar threats, including Berkley, Garden City, Melvindale, South Lyon, Fraser, Dakota, Almont, Belleville, Lincoln Park, Plymouth, Canton, Novi, and Salem high school.