Local parents worried after threatening Snapchat posts goes viral
MISHAWAKA, Ind. --- Parents of local students are still on alert after threatening posts were shared online Sunday night.
The Snapchat picture was shared with many people on social media. It said "don't go to school @MHS. Students" and "loaded up bout to head out."
The post mentions “MHS” what seemed to many people like the user was threatening Mishawaka High School or Memorial High School in Elkhart. The Mishawaka Police Department sent this tweet out Sunday night in response to the photo circulating the web.
We have been receiving information all night regarding a posting on Facebook regarding a photo of several firearms and the phrase “MHS”. This has been identified to be a hoax in Virginia and an arrest has been made. MPD will have still have extra patrols at Mishawaka HS today. pic.twitter.com/D1nL0jO1wM— Mishawaka Police (@MishawakaPolice) January 8, 2018
Elkhart Police Department said they were aware of the post as well and had officers conduct area checks for local schools.
“I was shocked at first,” said Michael Morfin, who shared the post. “But then I was like well with the way everything’s going in the world today you can’t be too sure.”
Tabitha Good, a parent of a student at Memorial High School, said she was not surprised when she saw the picture.
“Schools here are very safe,” wrote Good. “I would take any possible threat very seriously.”
Eric Tamashasky with St. Joseph County Sherriff’s Department heads up the cyber-crime unit, who, if the threat was made at Michiana students, would step in.
“You’ve got to assume it’s real, the guns are real, the threat is real and go from that particular angle,” Tamashasky said.
He said that in a circumstance, where students were being threatened online, officers would be on the campus and online trying to track down the suspect.
“Their time intensive, labor intensive,” he said. “Once the police get involved we’ve got to do what we can to try and identify who’s doing it and really then get that investigated and prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.”
The cyber-crime unit would contact various social media providers to locate any information that could help them with their investigation.
“In the case where these threats are made, communicated, or start to go viral, we have pretty good success working with the providers to try and figure out who the folks are that did that,” Tamashasky said. “So we can really identify what type of threat it is and what sort of action is appropriate.”