Two home-schooled students arrested, charged with making terrorist threat

Two home-schooled students arrested, charged with making terrorist threat
(Source: Raycom images)

WALKER COUNTY, AL (WBRC) - Two juveniles, one in Walker County and one in Jefferson County, have been arrested and charged with making a terrorist threat after a school threat was made on social media.

On February 16th, Jefferson County School Resource Officer Steven Drake contacted the Walker County Sheriff's Office and advised them of a threat made on Snapchat.

The photo, reported to SRO Drake by a student, contained the caption "Round 3 Florida" followed by 4 laughing emojis.

The Snapchat photo was taken by one of the home-schooled juveniles and showed the other home-schooled juvenile holding what appeared to be a toy semi-automatic or fully-automatic rifle.

The 17 year olds were arrested at their homes and placed in the Walker County Juvenile Detention Center.

Walker County Sheriff Jim Underwood says their investigation determined the two juveniles did not plan to commit any violence towards a school nor did they have the means to carry out the threat.

Still, Sheriff Underwood says all threats must be taken seriously.

"No classes were disrupted and there is no threat or danger to our schools from these two juveniles at this time," said Sheriff Underwood in a press release, "The District Attorney's Office is reviewing this case to determine if either juvenile should be transferred for criminal prosecution in adult court. Both are currently under the jurisdiction of the juvenile court. I appreciate SRO Deputy Drake notifying us quickly and realizing that this is a shared responsibility that we all have in keeping our schools safe. Unfortunately it is common for threats to increase following a national tragedy such as the Parkland shooting in Florida. In today's age, a majority of the threats are made on social media. Law Enforcement must follow up and investigate threats like these, as legitimate. All threats must be taken seriously.  Everyone knows you don't falsely yell "fire" in a crowded movie theater or mention a bomb on an airplane. In the same manner, school threats create a substantial amount of public alarm and require mobilization of law enforcement resources. We ask parents to please take this time to talk to your children about the appropriate uses of social media."

Anyone with any information on any school threats may contact the Walker County Sheriff's Office at 205-302-6464. A link to Crime Stoppers can be found on the sheriff's website at www.walkercountysheriff.com.

They may also send a text message to 847411. In the body of the message type "walker" and then the tip itself.

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