Amarillo police make third arrest this week in connection to social media threats against schools


Thursday morning, Amarillo Police Department Liaison officers and Amarillo Independent School District personnel were made aware of a social media threat of a school shooting at Fannin Middle School. This threat was spread using social media.

A Fannin Middle School student was detained at the school in connection to the incident.

The picture of a male holding a firearm depicted in threat was found to be from the internet that did not originate here and did not contain an image of the suspect who sent it. The juvenile used this picture and made the threat on it.

Police arrested the student and booked the juvenile into the Youth Center of the High Plains. This is the third arrest this week of students who made social media threat against AISD schools.

The Amarillo and Canyon school districts are addressing safety concerns at their schools after threatening messages were posted on Snapchat and possibly other social media platforms over the past few days.

"Amarillo ISD is aware of a threatening message to our middle schools which started on Snapchat overnight. Amarillo Police are investigating the message, but have no evidence that it is credible at this time.

"Police arrested a suspect they believe is involved in a separate threat made yesterday referencing Austin Middle School.

"This latest message appears to be a broader copycat of the threat which surfaced yesterday.

"The safety and security of our students and schools is our primary concern, which is why we are diligently working with Amarillo Police to investigate these social media rumors and provide additional security at campuses today," the Amarillo ISD said in a statement.

None of the schools in the Canyon ISD have been threatened, but the district felt the need to increase the law enforcement presence at its campuses.

"Canyon ISD is aware of the concerning social media posts that circulated this morning. The safety and security of our students and schools is our primary concern.

"We are diligently working with Amarillo Police, Canyon Police and Randall County Sheriff's Department to increase their presence at and around our campuses," the district said in a statement.

Just before 9:00 am Tuesday, the Amarillo Police Department received a call stating that there was an active shooter at Bowie Middle School. The parent had received a text message from their student saying that there was rumor of a school shooting and the parent called and told officers that a shooter was at the school.

Multiple officers responded and determined that there was no shooter and no threats made. This was follow up to the social media rumors that were being spread since last night.

On Monday, APD School Liaison officers were made aware of a social media based threat of a shooting at Austin Middle School. The threat was spreading through Snapchat and possibly other sources.

Liaison officers started working to identify the source and determine if there was any actual danger. They identified a juvenile male involved in posting the threat. They determined that the juvenile did not have means to carry out the threat.

The juvenile was detained and placed in the Youth Center of the High Plains.

Again, there is no evidence that there are any genuine threats to any school in Amarillo.

The Amarillo Police Department continues to investigate all threats and has extra officers around the schools today due to rising concern to parents caused by these rumors. Please refrain from spreading any social media gossip. If you see something that you think is a threat contact the Amarillo Police Department immediately.

These cases underline the importance of reporting instead of spreading social media gossip.

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