20191011-FILE-policestock-mc-5.JPG

20191011-FILE-policestock-mc-5.JPG

Police vehicles sit in the basement garage on Wednesday, Oct. 9, 2019, at the Cheyenne Police Department in downtown Cheyenne. Michael Cummo/Wyoming Tribune Eagle

Update: 10:05 a.m. 11/7 – The Cheyenne Police Department has identified and questioned the suspect who made the threats. The suspect is a student at South High who was kept home from school today.

Although no charges have been filed, CPD Public Information Officer Kevin Malatesta said charges could be filed in the future. The investigation is ongoing.

The threats were made anonymously on Snapchat, a social media app where users send photos. On the app, users can post a question for others to anonymously answer. The suspect replied to a message, saying, "Don't come to school tomorrow. I'm serious. Anyone who sees this don't come to school."

In a separate response to the question, the suspect said, "My dad is an off-duty marine and has been training my shooting skills since I was three years old. You guys all think this is a joke. You'll pay."

Malatesta stressed that if anyone encounters such threats in the future, they should immediately go to the police. He said posting the information on social media first makes tracking down the source and verifying the claim more difficult for police.

CHEYENNE – A school shooting threat was made via social media against Cheyenne’s South High, according to a Facebook post made by the Cheyenne Police Department on Wednesday night.

The post said school resource officers will be taking extra precautions today Thursdayfor the peace of mind of students and families. Police are also looking for information relating to the identity of the subject making these threats.

Public Information Officer Kevin Malatesta said CPD regularly gets threats like this through social media. He said there will be more officers at the school to look for anything suspicious.

The reports of the threat came from a Snapchat that was sent to a large group of students, Malatesta said. As of right now, the threat is unsubstantiated. CPD is currently tracking down a couple of leads on the threat and following up with those sources.

Usually, this type of situation stems from misinformation that can circulate online through social media. Malatesta said at this point they need information about who originally made the threat, or information from someone who saw the threat firsthand.

“But at the same time, if anyone has any information about a credible threat, or first-hand knowledge about someone saying something about an act of violence, we need to be aware of it so we can follow up,” Malatesta said.

As of right now, the only reports of a threat are coming from a third party or more, he said. Repeating unverified information really just spreads fear.

Laramie County School District 1 Superintendent Boyd Brown said school will be in session tomorrow, but parents always are in charge of whether or not to send their children to school. He said the school will allow parents to excuse their children tomorrow if they feel unsafe going to school.

As well as having an increased law enforcement presence at the school, there will also be increased vigilance by LCSD1 staff members in the hallways, Brown said. He encouraged people with information about the names of the those involved with the threat to contact CPD.

Isabella Alves is the Wyoming Tribune Eagle’s criminal justice reporter. She can be reached at ialves@wyomingnews.com or 307-633-3128. Follow her on Twitter @IsabellaAlves96.

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