Two teens have been arrested after authorities say threats were made “relative to causing harm” at West Forsyth High School.
The Forsyth County Sheriff’s Office posted Thursday morning on Facebook that it was “notified by a concerned parent of a potential social media post and statements by a local student which depicted a firearm and a potential threat of violence.”
After interviews with students and parents, a 16-year-old suspect was identified and located, according to the Sheriff’s Office.
Detectives with the major crimes unit then interviewed the suspect and his parents, and the teen was taken into custody at about 1:30 a.m. Thursday and charged with one count of terroristic threats and acts, according to the Sheriff’s Office.
A 15-year-old was arrested at about 4 p.m. Thursday at his South Forsyth home, according to Cpl. Doug Rainwater with Sheriff’s Office. The second suspect was identified by Twitter after the social media company complied with a search warrant from the Sheriff’s Office.
Rainwater said the the suspects were not working together, and that no weapon was found readily available to either suspect at the time of their arrests.
Since the suspects are minors, they have been turned over to the Department of Juvenile Justice.
Law enforcement was on the school’s campus into the early afternoon hours to address continued threats of violence made on social media.
The Sheriff’s Office reported it has received several reports of suspicious activity this week. All were investigated, but others were not found to be a credible threat.
“However, this situation was different and was a legitimate concern,” the Sheriff’s Office said in its Facebook post.
Rainwater said they investigated a rumor that the student has two friends with a stash of guns.
“But it’s not true,” he said.
The rumors “were created this morning probably by a teenager to play into the fear taking place right now among parents,” Rainwater added. “We’re very thankful that all of these citizens continue to ‘see something, say something.’”
Rainwater said the increased vigilance from parents and students is exactly what the Sheriff’s Office needs to prevent tragedies.
A letter sent to parents early Thursday morning by West Forsyth Principal Karl Mercer stated the school was notified of the threat Wednesday night, and the suspect will “not be returning to school.”
“The school is safe today, and we have an increased law presence on campus,” he added.
Mercer also provided a link, www.forsyth.k12.ga.us/Page/635, with instructions about how to submit an anonymous tip if a parent or student has a concern about a potential incident.