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Youth's Snapchat "Joke" About Being A School Shooter Lands Him In Trouble

Eduardo Woo

A Thurston High School student’s idea of a joke has gotten him arrested. As KLCC’s Brian Bull reports, the boy claimed via Snapchat to be a school shooter.

The freshman and a girl attending Springfield High School had been talking about a threat investigation happening on her campus. The boy then sent her a message reading, “I am the shooter!” 

“The girl responded back with a question mark, and then this boy responded back again saying “I’m on my way,” says Scott McKee, spokesman for the Springfield Police.  He says the girl reported the message to her parents and school resource officer. The Thurston High freshman was arrested and sent to the Serbu Juvenile Detention Facility.

“We’re really trying to send a message that this isn’t funny, this isn’t a game, school violence is serious," McKee tells KLCC. "He’s charged with first degree disorderly conduct.”

Rumors of a shooting threat at Springfield High were no more than that.  But McKee says everyone needs to take such statements seriously, lest someone ignore something that could signal a genuine danger.

Copyright 2018, KLCC.

Brian Bull is an assistant professor of journalism at the University of Oregon, and remains a contributor to the KLCC news department. He began working with KLCC in June 2016.   In his 27+ years as a public media journalist, he's worked at NPR, Twin Cities Public Television, South Dakota Public Broadcasting, Wisconsin Public Radio, and ideastream in Cleveland. His reporting has netted dozens of accolades, including four national Edward R. Murrow Awards (22 regional),  the Ohio Associated Press' Best Reporter Award, Best Radio Reporter from  the Native American Journalists Association, and the PRNDI/NEFE Award for Excellence in Consumer Finance Reporting.
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