Student accused of school shooting threat in Manassas Park charged

Police in Manassas Park, Virginia, have identified the student responsible for threatening to carry out a violent attack planned for Friday at the city’s high school.

The student, who authorities said is a 15-year-old sophomore male, has been charged with making “Threats to Kill.” Police said the student’s parents were cooperating with police and turned him in on Friday.

The threat was first brought to the police’s attention around 9 p.m. Thursday when Manassas Park City Schools said there was word circulating on social media about the suspect “shooting up the school tomorrow.”

Capt. Frank Winston of Manassas Park Police said the student originally sent a message to another student, warning they not to go to school Friday because he was planning a shooting. That message ended up being shared across social media.

Alerted of the threat by Manassas Park City Schools, police detectives began tracking down information on Instagram accounts and IP addresses associated with the post, according to authorities.

Shortly after midnight on Friday, police said they identified and made contact with the student suspected of making the threats.

The student and his parents were brought into the police headquarters for an interview.

Authorities said that after speaking with the student and his family, they determined the threat wasn’t credible and there was no danger to the school system or greater community.

Police also searched the family’s home, with cooperation of the suspect’s parents, and did not find a firearm.

Out of safety concerns, Manassas Park City Schools moved their classes online Friday. Other school related activities resumed on Saturday, according to MPCS superintendent Melissa Saunders.

“Threats have no place in our school community, and we will take swift action in this matter per our student code of contact,” Saunders said in a statement Friday afternoon.

Students are scheduled to return to in-person learning on Monday with a greater police presence on school grounds.

WTOP’s Luke Lukert and Jose Umana contributed to this report.

Matthew Delaney

Matt Delaney is a digital web writer/editor who joined WTOP in 2020.

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