Bulloch County Sheriff’s deputies arrested Southeast Bulloch High School student Tuesday after a threat to “shoot up the school” was found written in a bathroom wall.
The incident follows on the heels of two social media threats within the past week that caused Statesboro High School to undergo two days of lockdown. Other schools in the southeast region have also experienced similar threats but police have not said whether any of the incidents are connected.
Bulloch County Sheriff’s Capt. Todd Hutchens said the handwritten comment found early Tuesday morning at Southeast Bulloch High School scrawled on a bathroom wall, said, in , that “they were ‘gonna shoot up the school’ and to ’tell somebody about it so you will be safe.’ They also said something about being ‘tired of this hell hole.’”
In a released statement, as well as a live press conference Tuesday afternoon, Bulloch County Sheriff Noel Brown reiterated that he has “zero tolerance” for such pranks or threats.
He said Cpl. Ross Newman, SV school resource officer, began investigating the incident as soon as he was me aware of it Tuesday, and “within a short time was able to identify the person responsible.”
The ninth grade, 16-year-old female student was interviewed and then charged with terroristic threats, he said.
Brown commended the partnership and cooperation between the school authorities and deputies. ”Our working relationship with the administration of all schools is exceptional … we will continue to take all threats serious and will respond with the lawful action that we are entrusted and committed to do.”
Thursday, an online social media threat referring to a possible school shooting led to an increased police presence and a soft lockdown at Statesboro High School, A subsequent social media post Monday making a “vague bomb threat” led to lockdowns, at one point a full lockdown while bomb dogs scoured the premises. Nothing of any danger was found.
Police reported similar social media threats at Bradwell Institute, Emanuel County High School, and in Metter Monday. Candler County Sheriff John Miles said his office received notification late Sunday of online shooting threat that did not specifically target a school, but deputies had an increased presence at Metter High School Monday anyway.
Tuesday’s bathroom wall incident echoes a similar case just over a year ago at the same school. A juvenile was arrested in that case as well after allegedly scrawling threats to shoot up the school on a bathroom wall. Newman investigated that case as well.
Statesboro Police Capt. Jared Akins said detectives are investigating the SHS incidents and warrants have been served to social media entities in effort to track down the original post creator.
Herald reporter Holli Deal Saxon may be reached at 912-489-9414.