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Updated: All Charlottesville City Schools Placed on Modified Lockdown

Posted: Updated:
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) -

The Charlottesville Police Department (CPD) and FBI are investigating threats made online to city schools.

Charlottesville City Schools were put on a modified lockdown for all of Wednesday, October 11. A modified lockdown means students stay inside the building all day, and are not allowed outside for recess or other activities.

CPD placed additional officers at all the city’s public schools, as well as at many of the private schools.

The FBI notified Charlottesville police that posts made on an unnamed social media message board expressed admiration for the Las Vegas shooter Stephen Paddock, as well as referring to DeAndre Harris.

Sixty-four-year-old Paddock is believed to be responsible for shooting at a large crowd at the Route 91 Harvest Festival, killing dozens and injuring hundreds before he took his own life on October 1.

An arrest warrant was issued for Harris on Monday, October 9, after a person filed a charge of malicious wounding with the magistrate. Three men - Alex Michael Ramos, Daniel Patrick Borden, and Jacob S. Goodwin - are accused of attacking Harris inside the Market Street Parking Garage on August 12.

The messages went on to say that Charlottesville, in particular, schools within the city, should be the next target of a mass shooting.

Police said there is currently no information on the identity of the person who posted the messages. Authorities are not disclosing where the messages were posted.

A larger police presence will remain at each school until authorities can determine if the threat is credible.

Charlottesville City Schools said no incidents have been reported since the initial post, and rumors of suspicious activity at the schools are false.

"We have been trying to communicate with parents throughout the day just to make sure that good information is going out to parents. Unfortunately sometime on the internet and other places, people start rumors or pass along misinformation," said Beth Cheuk with Charlottesville City Schools.

Police said parents do not need to be alarmed: "I can understand their concerns, but we're actively looking into this and trying to keep the schools under a normal process," said Charlottesville Police Lt. L.A. Durette.

Albemarle County Public Schools decided there was no "credible basis for a lockdown," so it operated on a standard day.

Police are working with the FBI, who announced Wednesday evening that the source of the threats came from another state and that "the situation has been resolved." The FBI denied NBC29’s request for additional information at this time.

CPD said the FBI does not believe there is any further threat to our community or schools. However, The Charlottesville Police Department will have extra patrols Thursday to help people feel safe.

10/11/2017 Updated Release from the Charlottesville Police Department:

The Charlottesville Police Department has been informed by the Federal Bureau of Investigation that they have identified the source of the social media comments in another state and the situation has been resolved.

The FBI does not believe there is any further threat to our community or schools. Charlottesville Police will maintain an increased police presence at our schools in the form of extra patrols tomorrow to ensure that students, parents and school staff feel safe.

[PREVIOUS RELEASE]

On 10-11-2017 the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) notified the Charlottesville Police Department that they had received information from a post made on a social media message board expressing discontent with recent events in Charlottesville. The person(s) who posted the message also referenced the recent mass shooting in Las Vegas and expressed their admiration of the shooter. They went on to say that Charlottesville, in particular schools within the city, should be the next target.

At this time there is no information on the identity of the person(s) who posted the message. City officers have been posted at all of the city’s schools and at many of the private schools.

Our department is coordinating with Charlottesville City School and Private School Administration in regards to these threats. As part of these efforts, Charlottesville City Schools are currently on a modified lockdown.

10/11/2017 Letter from Charlottesville City Schools to Parents:

Dear families and staff,

All Charlottesville City Schools will be working on a modified lock-down today. This means that students will remain indoors when possible and will have adult or police supervision when they need to go outside (such as when classes change at Buford and Walker.) Recess and gym classes will be held indoors.

We are taking these precautionary measures at the request of Charlottesville City Police, who are monitoring an internet comment.

Thank you for your patience. We’ll keep you updated as we learn more from police.