Charlottesville City Schools Placed on Modified Lockdown Following Online Threat
Charlottesville City Schools were put on a modified lockdown for all of Wednesday, October 11, as Charlottesville police and the FBI investigated threats made online to city schools. Police report that posts made on an unnamed social media message board threatened the schools and expressed admiration for the Las Vegas shooter Stephen Paddock, as well as referring to DeAndre Harris.
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.
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.