Police Search Lockers, Roam School After Threats To “Kill Everyone”
Russellville Middle School entered another day of lockdowns Tuesday after an alleged student posted threats to a social media site over the last few days, saying he or she would “kill everyone” at school.
The user on social media also mentioned 29 people on a “hit list,” saying, “I put bombs in these people’s lockers.”
For the second straight day, extra officers from the Russellville Police Department stationed themselves at the school as a security precaution. They also began searching lockers Tuesday throughout the school, according to the Russellville School District.
The school has been on a “partial lockdown” since Monday, meaning police escort the students around the school, and students are not allowed to go outside, a school spokeswoman told 5NEWS.
Police are investigating, but have not yet identified the perpetrator, according to the school district.
A few hours after the first lockdown ended Monday and students went home at their normal time, a user identified as “RMS Gosip Girl” told others on a social networking website that despite the increased security, he or she was prepared to kill students at the school on Tuesday.
Some students on the website encouraged the user to turn him or herself in to police and school administrators. The user responded around 5:15 p.m., “I am Jason okay i will confess tomorrow after i kill everyone. (sic)”
Another student tells the user, “You need to learn to forgive and forget.” The user responds, “I cant to manny (sic) people have been mean to me.”
By Tuesday morning, the social media user’s page was suspended from the site, according to a message that appears when trying to load the page.
The school district released a statement earlier in the day telling parents about the partial shutdown and initial threat.
“Russellville School District has responded proactively to a rumor at Russellville Middle School in which a student threatened a small group of students in a chat room,” according to a statement released Monday by the school district. “The parents of these students have been notified. RSD takes the safety and security of our students seriously.”
The statement goes on to say that security was increased following the alleged threat and that the “administration and local authorities are working together to (ensure) the safety of the students. Students will continue with normal school hours.”
The middle school added extra police officers from the Russellville Police Department on campus Monday morning and throughout the day as a safety precaution following the threat, said Ashley Snellenberger, the school district’s communications coordinator.
Carla Kennard has a sixth-grade daughter who attends Russellville Middle School. Kennard said a girl on ‘ask.fm’ created a public “hit list” of students from the school. Snellenberger said she could not confirm those details.
“Everyone was scared. There were cops everywhere,” Kennard told 5NEWS.
The messaged threats quickly spread to other social networking sites. One message on Instagram stated, “Bombs in lockers won’t know which ones, wish you hadn’t come to school today.”
Snellenberger said the middle school was placed on “partial lockdown,” keeping students from going outside. Students were also escorted by police officers during the school day, she said.
The school district released another statement later Monday night, saying the additional security would continue into the school day Tuesday, as 10 more names were added to the suspect’s “hit list”.