Second arrest made in school threats

Published 3:00 pm Friday, February 18, 2022

Two arrests have been made in relation to threats posted against Lawrence County schools in recent days.

District schools were placed under lockdown before noon on Wednesday, Feb. 9, due to a social media threat against high school staff and teachers.

While investigative details cannot be discussed, please know that we are extremely close to discovering the identity of last week’s terrorist. As soon as his or her identity has been discovered, he or she will be arrested and charged in the appropriate court of jurisdiction,” said Sheriff Ryan Everett.

Subscribe to our free email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

Everett said two additional threats were made Wednesday night, and Thursday morning he notified school administration that an arrest had been made in one of those threats, and he was confident another arrest would be made very soon.

Friday, a second arrest was made.

“We have identified both parties that made threats towards the New Hebron Attendance Center,” Everett said. “The school district is handling their responsibilities associated with the incident; we are handling the legal aspects.”

Those arrested are juveniles, and their identities will not be made public, pursuant to The Youth Court Act, the sheriff said.

“I am unsure of the motive behind these threats. Is someone trying to get school canceled for a day? Is someone trying to incite fear and panic in someone else? I do not know. What I do know is this: We will figure out who you are. We will come and pick you up and put you in a set of handcuffs. You will wear a jumpsuit, and you will stand before a judge in a court of law,” Everett said.

“If you are the guilty culprit, I hope you have to sit at the supper table facing the window and watch outside wondering if every set of headlights on the road is mine,” the sheriff said. “If you are a teenager in school, I hope every time you hear someone walking down the hallway, it sounds like the clicking of cowboy boots. Remember, I will be seeing you before you see me.”

“Over the last several weeks, there have been social media threats of violence to schools across the state. As you know, Lawrence County Schools has been one of them,” Superintendent Titus M. Hines said in a letter to parents and community leaders Thursday.

“Our priority is to keep our students and staff safe while they are in our buildings and on our campuses.”

“These types of threats are appalling and will not be tolerated,” he said. “Lawrence County School District administrators are working with local and state law enforcement to identify and find the perpetrators of such threats. When they are found, I will administer disciplinary action to the greatest extent allowed by LCSD School Board Policy, and on behalf of the school district I will press criminal behavior charges against the individual or individuals creating, participating in, or condoning this type of activity. Again, actions such as this will not be tolerated.

Anyone with information on the threats is asked to call Pine Belt Metro Crimestoppers. Awards of $500 to $1,000 are available for information that leads to arrest and conviction.