Update: Alleged social media threat at Central Dauphin East not credible
Lower Paxton Township Police Department received a report from a grandmother that her grandson saw a posting on Instagram that threatened an active shooting incident at Central Dauphin East High School, according to a police report. The student said he saw the posting Wednesday, Sept. 28 at 7:40 pm.
The picture was described as a photograph of a white, teenage boy, who was holding was appeared to be a handgun, police reported. Messages going back and forth between the person who made the original post, and another person, indicated there would be a shooting at the high school, but it postings did not specify a time.
An intense investigation was immediately commenced, police reported. It was quickly discovered the photograph was taken from a much earlier You Tube posting, which had nothing to do with any threat of violence. The person believed to be associated with the Instagram account on which the photograph was posted was identified, traced and confirmed to be in Florida. That person was determined to have made no threats of violence against Central Dauphin East or anyone connected to the school. It was also learned that person no longer controlled the account on which the photograph and threat were posted. As part of the investigation, Lower Paxton Township police contacted the Central Dauphin School District Police and Security Department. It was discovered that they had recently been made aware of the threat and were also actively investigating.
Working cooperatively, other leads were investigated and it became fairly clear the postings lacked viable credibility, police said. The Central Dauphin School District made a decision not to cancel or postpone classes. However, additional safety protocols were initiated while the investigation continued.
As a result of the continuing investigation, two Central Dauphin School District 9TH grade students, both males, ages 14 and 13, were identified as the persons responsible for the postings. There never was a credible threat of shooting or violence at the school. The suspects are in custody. Due to their ages, no further information on their identity will be released. In consultation with the Dauphin County District Attorney’s Office, they will be charged as juveniles with multiple crimes
A second message was sent to parents and guardians after police investigated a potential active shooting incident at Central Dauphin East High School.
“Attention Parents & Guardians of Central Dauphin East High School:
After a thorough investigation conducted by law enforcement and district administration regarding the social media posting concerning Central Dauphin East High School, the information contained in the post WAS NOT credible.
Classes are continuing as scheduled and students are safe.”
There is a heightened police presence Thursday, Sept. 29 at Central Dauphin East High School due to a threatening social media post that surfaced.
According to Director of Public and Community Relations Shannon Lieb, a message was sent to inform parents and guardians. The following message was communicated:
“Attention Parents & Guardians:
As a precautionary measure, there is an increased police presence at Central Dauphin East High School due to a message posted to social media.
The Administration at Central Dauphin East High in coordination with police will continue to investigate.”