According to a press release from the Mount Vernon Police Department, officers and detectives responded to reports of an alarming Snapchat post that had circulated throughout the community on May 22, 2018. The post in question included a facial photo of a juvenile female, with text written that threatened to “shoot up” a school. The threat was general in nature, and did not specify a particular school district or campus.
Several students and parents became aware of the post, and a notification was made to the Mount Vernon School District Administrators, who then contacted the Mount Vernon Police Department. In response, the school district sent out a community-wide automated notification of the threat information to parents and families; via phone, text, and email, while the police department planned to increase staffing around our local schools.
This morning (May 23, 2018), after receiving the automated message from the school district, the parents of a 16-year-old female student at Mount Vernon High School notified the school district, identifying their daughter as one of the students involved in the Snapchat post. Mount Vernon Police Department Detectives, along with the MVHS Resource Officer, contacted and interviewed the student. Based on information that was obtained in this interview, a 15-year-old female high school student was identified as an additional participant in the post/threat. Both students have been arrested and are being booked into the Skagit County Juvenile Detention Center on charges of “Threats to Bomb or Injure Property” (RCW 9.61.160).
Additional investigation is currently underway, including ongoing witness interviews and search warrants on the girl’s cellphones. Lieutenant Greg Booth of the Mount Vernon Police Department wrote in today’s press release that the department has no reason to believe that the threat was credible.
Lieutenant Booth also advised that this case underscores the importance of “citizen engagement”, in the safety and security of our community. In that light, the MVPD wanted to express their appreciation to those that came forward with information, as their involvement led to a quick resolution in this case. Lieutenant Booth also had this to say of these type of events:
Unfortunately, incidents of this nature, are becoming more commonplace in our society,
making it critically important we remain attentive and vigilant against becoming de-sensitized. The Mount Vernon Police Department continues to work closely with the Mount Vernon School District and the community to build and maintain a culture of open communication between students, staff, parents and the police. We strongly believe, as demonstrated in this case, we all have a role in the reduction of crime and fear in our community, and only through a mutual understanding of our “shared responsibilities”, can we work collectively to ensure our community remains safe.
We can all work together to ensure that our community remains safe. Thank you to the Mount Vernon Police Department as well as the Mount Vernon School District for their quick response to this matter!