By Scott Bolthouse | The Huron Hub
Posted Dec. 10, 2019 — 9:30 PM EST
A 15-year-old Southgate resident is charged with making a terroristic threat against a Huron student through a social media post which caused an early dismissal of Huron High School on Tuesday.
Police say the suspect referenced a school shooting in the threat, which was reported to school staff Tuesday morning by another student who attends the school.
The threat was specific to Huron High School and targeted a student that the suspect believed was at the school.
The suspect who made the threat is not a student at Huron High School.
No other schools within the Huron School District were affected, mentioned or appeared to be a target in the threat, police said.
“We are very fortunate that the student who observed this threat had the courage to come forward and quickly notify school officials. That is a true credit to the school administrators who have educated the students and brought awareness to the importance of reporting these types of threats,” said Everette Robbins, Huron director of public safety.
Once school administration and police were made aware of the threat, the decision to dismiss school early was made.
“A collective decision between our department and school administration was made to only release Huron High School students and not the rest of the district. There was absolutely no threat indicated towards the other schools and evacuating the other schools could have potentially placed unaffected students unnecessarily in harm’s way. We were able to keep our resources concentrated to where the threat was directed,” Robbins said.
As school was being released, the Detective Bureau executed a search warrant to a social media provider which resulted in obtaining information identifying the suspect as well as his current location.
At 1:30 p.m., the student was taken into custody in the city of Southgate.
In a statement, Donovan Rowe, superintendent of Huron Schools, said: “This morning, officials at Huron High School were made aware of a social media post mentioning threats of violence and a weapon. The post was sent late last night to an individual who does not attend school in the Huron School District, and school administrators were made aware of the post late this morning. After consulting with the HTPD officials and reviewing our school emergency operations plan, students at Huron High School were dismissed early at 12:20 as a precaution. Following the early dismissal, the Huron Township Police investigated the situation, including working with the social media outlet. During the course of that investigation, the HTPD was able to identify the I.P. address from which the post was made, and an individual has been taken into custody. Student safety is our primary concern, and we will continue to work closely with the HTPD to keep our schools safe. It is unfortunate that, like many other school districts, we found ourselves in a situation such as this. Nevertheless, I appreciate your patience and trust in our process as we continue to work to keep our students safe.”
While the high school was being dismissed, officers were sent to Brown and Miller Elementary Schools as well as Renton Junior High as a precaution.
The Huron Township Fire Department responded to the high school as a precaution in case medical care of any type was needed during the student release process.
“I am very appreciative of the way that Superintendent Rowe, Principal Huddock, Assistant Principal O’Brien and the entire high school staff handled this situation. They brought professionalism and calm to a potentially chaotic situation. As not only the Director of Public Safety, but more importantly a parent of students within the district, I am proud of the concern they show for the safety of our students,” Robbins said.
“I want the residents to know that every threat made within our school district will be handled quickly and taken seriously. We will charge anyone making threats to the fullest extent of the law. We will always choose to overreact rather than underreact. It is a great opportunity once again for parents to speak to their children about the consequences of posting any type of threat on social media,” he said.
Robbins said school is safe to attend on Wednesday.
“The suspect is in custody and is not a threat. As a precaution, we will have a police presence at all of the schools within the district tomorrow morning in an effort to make parents and students feel safe,” Robbins said.
The suspect is being held in the Wayne County Juvenile Detention Center awaiting possible felony charges from the Wayne County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office.
His identification is not being released at this time.