Probe of threat continues

STEUBENVILLE – A multi-agency investigation is continuing today into an Internet threat that prompted Steubenville City Schools to be placed on lockdown for 90 minutes Tuesday morning.

Police Chief Bill McCafferty said police patrols have been increased around all city schools today, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation “has been made aware of the shooting threat.”

McCafferty said his department participated in a conference call Tuesday afternoon with the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Department, the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation, the Ohio State Highway Patrol and the Fusion Center in Columbus.

McCafferty said the Fusion Center coordinates Homeland Security issues.

“Our investigation is still active at this point. We are concerned about any threats and take this very seriously,” said McCafferty.

The lockdown was initiated shortly after 8:30 a.m. Tuesday after City Police received a phone call from the mother of a city school student.

According to the police report, the student had stayed home sick Tuesday and “observed a threat on his Facebook page that was originally a Tweet from KnightSec that stated the kids who have not been charged in the rape case were to come to a certain location or ‘I am going to start killing people.'” The juvenile further stated that he tried to access the Tweet again but it had disappeared.”

Police searched all city school buildings and determined the threat was not credible and the lockdown was lifted shortly before 10 a.m.

Steubenville Schools Superintendent Mike McVey said he was informed by police about the threat at 8:22 a.m.

“At that time, all buildings were instructed to go on lockdown. A districtwide All Call was sent to notify parents that all buildings were on lockdown and secure,” stated McVey.

“At 9:46 a.m. the Steubenville Police notified us the threat was not a viable threat and the lockdown was lifted. Another districtwide All Call was sent to notify the parents that the lockdown was over and the school day resumed,” said McVey.

Students remained in their school buildings during the lockdown.

McVey said private security guards have been stationed at each school building until further notice.