A 15-year-old boy was arrested Friday in connection with a social media threat to commit violence at Commack Middle School, Suffolk County Police said.
The teenager, whose name was not released because he is a minor, allegedly made the threat on Instagram Live on May 31. He is not a student at the middle school, however. He was charged with making a terrorist threat and second-degree aggravated harassment, and he was set to be arraigned on Friday.
The threat comes after Suffolk police reported that three teenagers were arrested for separately threatening to commit mass shootings at two East End schools in two days, and about a week after the May 24 Texas elementary school massacre.
Two 15-year-old boys were accused of making threats against Riverhead High School in less than 24 hours and a 13-year-old boy made a threat against Westhampton Beach Middle School on Thursday, Riverhead Town and Westhampton Beach Village police said.
“I’m gonna shoot up the school,” the first of the three boys allegedly yelled in a classroom shortly after 1 p.m. Wednesday, according to investigators. Riverhead High School security immediately detained the boy and police, who were already at the school for an unrelated incident, took the teen into custody.
Then shortly before 8 a.m. Thursday, Riverhead police responded to the high school again after receiving a report that another teen posted a threat of violence against his classmates on his Instagram account. In his posts, he mentioned the teen who was arrested the previous day.
“IMMA Send SHOts flying at the school for [redacted],” the teen allegedly posted, police said, as well as, “I HOPE I GET LOCKED UP SO I CAN SEE [redacted] AND WE CAN BOTH BEAT THE CASE SO THEN BOTH OF US CAN BOOM THE SCHOOL.”
Riverhead police searched both teens and their homes and found no weapons. Each was detained at Nassau County Juvenile Detention Facility pending their initial court appearance.
Then in the third case, a 13-year-old student told other students and Westhampton school officials on Thursday morning that he was going to “shoot the school” because he was annoyed and frustrated with his classmates, police said. He said he was being picked on and this was the only way to solve the problem, authorities added.
The boys were each charged with a felony count of making a terroristic threat, a felony punishable by up to four years in prison, if convicted. They are facing the charges in Suffolk youth court.
In addition, a 16-year-old boy from Bellport allegedly made similar threats online of a “massive shooting” at Bellport High School on May 26. And an 18-year-old Westbury High School student was arrested May 31 in connection with violent threats he allegedly made toward students and faculty, authorities said. Police across LI and statewide have been on high alert since the Texas school shooting.
These local threats came days after an 18-year-old gunman killed 19 children and two adults at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas — the deadliest elementary school mass shooting since December 2012, when 20 first graders and six educators were killed at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, Conn. The Westhampton teen cited Uvalde while making his alleged threat.