A Utah teen was released with no charges filed after an investigation into threats of violence he made online.
Report of planned school shooting
A male student at Emery High School in Utah used the social media app Snapchat to make threats of violence towards other classmates at his school. After seeing a Snapchat post that the teen was going to shoot other students, someone alerted police to the threat. The male teen responsible for the frightening post was detained while police investigated the alleged threat.
Taking threats seriously
There is no explanation as to why the teen made the threats toward his peers, however police determined the danger to not be credible. Police interviewed friends of the teen as well as those who may have seen the post on Snapchat. In a case like this, investigators likely searched the teen’s locker, phone, computer and home. Through the investigation however, there was no evidence that the teen actually planned on carrying out the attack. It was likely he said it in frustration or anger.
Threats of violence
According to Utah Code 76-5-107, A person may face class B misdemeanor charges for committing a “threat of violence if:
(a) The person threatens to commit any offense involving bodily injury, death, or substantial property damage, and acts with intent to place a person in fear of imminent serious bodily injury, substantial bodily injury, or death; or
(b) The person makes a threat, accompanied by a show of immediate force of violence, to do bodily injury to another.”
Although the teen made a verbal or written threat of violence, he didn’t act towards the threat at all and was released without charges. The teen didn’t escape unscathed however. He is facing serious backlash from his peers as well as the community. It is important to teach children the criminal as well as social consequences that can occur from making threats of violence towards others. Teens who end up facing charges are encouraged to seek legal counsel with their parents or guardians.