A 16-year-old has been charged with threatening mass violence at Covington High School on Wednesday, the Covington Police Department announced.
Early Wednesday morning the school’s resource officer received a screenshot from Snapchat where there was a threat to “CHS,” which was believed to be the local high school, and a warning to students.
As a result, school officials and police increased security at the campuses until the person who made the post was identified. The matter was investigation by the CPD’s Criminal Investigation Division and Tennessee Homeland Security agents. CPD Chief Donna Turner said detectives conducted interviews and obtained a confession from a 16-year-old boy who lives on Whaley Road in Covington.
Detectives confirmed the original post was in 2018 from a 17-year-old in Clovis New Mexico made to Centennial High School (CHS) who was charged in the post. The teenager reposted the fabricated post, capturing the screenshot from “ElChapo” of the threat, and spread it on social media.
“The law is clear,” Turner said, “do not repost threatening posts, not to warn anyone or jokingly forward them. In addition, the law states if you see a threatening post of violence, you are supposed to report the post. CPD will charge anyone responsible for reposting or not reporting these threats. We will investigate every post to protect our students and teachers and maintain safety on our campuses.”
Turner said the friends who saw the snap notified staff at the Tipton County Schools, launching the investigation.
“This was a great partnership to quickly determine where the social media post was made. I appreciate the Tennessee Homeland Security agents, Tipton County School staff, and the CPD detectives and officers who were vital in solving the case,” said Turner. “The parents worked closely with detectives and the investigation confirmed they did not know what the juvenile had posted.”
The Covington juvenile was cited in Tipton County Juvenile Court for the threat of mass violence and released to his parents. The investigation confirmed the post was fake. The teenager is set to appear in court later this month.
A county-wide principal’s meeting and a random K9 search were planned to take place at CHS today.
This is the third threat of mass violence at CHS since January.