Olney Charter H.S. student facing charges after alleged threats on social media

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Thursday, December 3, 2015
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An Olney Charter High School student has been arrested for making threats of violence on social media, police said.

OLNEY (WPVI) -- An Olney Charter High School student has been arrested for making threats of violence on social media, police said.

The 16-year-old allegedly threatened to "shoot up" the school, located at 100 W Duncannon Street in Philadelphia's Olney section. It also warned students not to come to school on Thursday.

The threat reads: "Don't go to school tomorrow, there is gonna be a shoot out. I was just told & I wanted to let you guys know to be safe."

Philadelphia Police Lt. John Stanford explains, "It's credible in the sense that this young man, I mean from what we were able to determine, was the one sending the threat. He took a picture, or someone took a picture holding a gun."

The threats follow an incident at the school on Wednesday, during which the suspect allegedly got into an altercation with other students.

Then at approximately 10:41 p.m. Wednesday one of the students involved, a 16-year-old girl, allegedly received a text through social media from the suspect.

The girl did not respond and then received two additional notifications from the suspect, which allegedly depicted the boy's hands holding a black colored handgun, along with text containing threatening language.

The girl informed her mother, who then called the police.

In a statement released by the school Thursday, they say the suspect was in Olney's Special Education Program and had transferred to the school approximately one month ago.

Action News is told police executed a search warrant at the boy's home where a realistic replica black semi-automatic pellet handgun was recovered. The teen was then taken into custody.

School officials however say "the student was not in possession of a firearm as the threat had suggested."

The 16-year-old suspect will face charges of Terroristic Threats, Simple Assault, Recklessly Endangering Another Person and related offenses.

The teen is not charged as an adult, therefore his name and photo will not be released.

Lt. Stanford says, "It's very serious. It's something we're going to work with the district attorney's office in prosecuting individuals that commit this type of crime."

A spokesperson for Olney Charter High tells Action News that the boy transferred to the school just a month ago. He will have to undergo psychological testing before we is permitted to rejoin classes.

The school says the boy was not a violent student, and believe that his mental health issues may have been the root cause of that threat.

The full statement from Olney Charter School was posted on Facebook: