Juvenile in custody for allegedly making threats against New Kent schools

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NEW KENT COUNTY, Va. – A juvenile is in law enforcement custody after investigators say the suspect made threats against New Kent High and Middle Schools on social media Thursday afternoon.

Sheriff Joe McLaughlin confirmed the juvenile was a male student.

The New Kent Sheriff’s Office said they became aware of a threat against the schools at approximately 7:10 p.m. Thursday evening.

Investigators say the threats were sent via social media on Snapchat to a number of students indicating that they should not attend school tomorrow.

Sheriff McLaughlin said the student is charged with making a threat  by media and said something along the lines of “I don’t want my friends to be at school tomorrow, I’m going to shoot up the high school and middle school.”

“The School Administration was made aware of the threats and the ongoing investigation,” the New Kent Sheriff’s Office wrote on Facebook.

Investigators say they received many reports from concerned community members detailing the message they had received.

New Kent High School

After their own investigation, the New Kent Sheriff’s Office identified the sender of the messages and took them into custody at approximately 8:12 p.m.

No information about the suspect have been released because the alleged offender is a juvenile.

Parents and students at school Friday said they were shocked when they heard of the arrest, but were glad to have the extra police presence.

“I was concerned and surprised because we’re such a tight knit close community, so I definitely was not expecting that news last night,” said one student.

“It is the belief of the Sheriff’s Office that the threat has been successfully addressed,” the Sheriff’s Office continued. “After consultation with the School Administration there will be an increased Sheriff’s Office presence at the schools tomorrow to provide a higher level of comfort and to address any additional information that may become available.”