UPDATE: Two juveniles taken into custody for threats against Cheney Middle School
Police chief criticizes Google for not complying with info requests
UPDATE – Police tell KVRR News two juveniles, one from West Fargo and the other from Fargo, were taken into custody late this afternoon for making threats against the school on social media.
Police say two locations were searched and the investigation indicated the individuals acted independently of each other. There are no other suspects.
The Cass County State’s Attorney will consider charges of terrorizing, a class C felony.
WEST FARGO, N.D. (KVRR) – West Fargo Police is investigating an online shooting threat at Cheney Middle School.
The threat was shared anonymously in a Snapchat group saying “going to shoot up cheney middle school tomorrow at 12:08 (8th grade lunch.) I will have four people helping.”
In-person classes were cancelled.
“I do not believe we have any credible or verifiable suspects identified. We are working through some of that information,” West Fargo Police Chief Denis Otterness said.
“We are continuing to have conversations with students, being interviewed and determining the next step,” West Fargo Public Schools Superintendent Beth Slette said.
“When this investigation wraps up at some point, we will forward all of that information over to the Cass County State’s Attorney Office. Off the top of my head I think probably a charge of terrorizing would be an appropriate charge at this point by the North Dakota Century Code,” Otterness explained.
Snapchat and Google were used to make the threat. The West Fargo Police Department is frustrated with Google as it is still waiting to hear back from the platform.
“When we check a box that says this is a potential emanate threat, we expect that our social media platforms respond accordingly. For us to have this press conference 11 hours later and still haven’t heard anything from Google, I think is unacceptable. It should be unacceptable for everyone in our community,” Otterness said.
Slette says the situation is devastating for students and staff.
“It is very sad for our children. Their job is to come to school, learn, play with their friends, and enjoy the environment. When something like this happens it takes away from that and same for our staff,” Slette said.
Counselors will be available for students or staff members who don’t feel safe.
West Fargo Public Schools say classes will be held in-person on Wednesday.