Mounties in Williams Lake say a report of a possible planned school shooting at the local high school was found to be a prank committed by a couple students.
Police were alerted to the possible threat on Wednesday, Nov. 23 when students in the city received concerning messages on the Snapchat App, indicating that there would be a school shooting. The image circulating showed two rifles photographed on a floor with the message “Dear LCSS if you wanna live don’t come to school December 10th … “
Cpl. Madonna Saunderson, district advisory NCO for the RCMP’s North District said police were quick to find out that two youths were responsible for the message and that they meant it as a prank. The two boys had fabricated an account in a third boy’s name and sent the message with the threatening caption.
“We take this very seriously and public safety is a top priority,” said Acting Sgt. Phil Charron, Operations Support NCO.
Saunderson noted the local school and parents are engaged and while those involved committed a criminal offence under Section 372(1) of the Criminal Code, False Messages, the Williams Lake RCMP believe that this can be successfully resolved by the school and parents involved.
Any disciplinary action will be at the school’s discretion., say police.
“This is a good reminder to have discussions about the responsible use of social media and the impact something like this can have,” added Saunderson.
It was almost a year to the day, Nov. 19, that two 14-year-old youths were arrested at the middle school in Williams Lake after Mounties recovered two loaded firearms following reports of a person outside the school with a handgun.
The incident triggered a lockdown of the 750-student middle school and nearby Nesika Elementary School at about 12:14 p.m., and a swift response from Williams Lake RCMP who stationed armed officers along Western Avenue while securing the scene.