On Friday, March 2, 2018 at approximately 2148 hours, officers were dispatched to a call in reference to a threat towards Hickman High School students. The caller reported observing a Facebook post that threatened to shoot students and included a racial slur.
Officers made contact with the owner of the Facebook account (a juvenile) and learned that he only had access to the account via his cell phone, which had been stolen from his home by a known suspect who had been in his home within the previous 24 hours. When officers further interviewed the juvenile who owned the phone he stated he did not post the message to his Facebook account and believed that the suspect had because he had confronted him earlier in the day about stealing the phone from him. He also told officers that the juvenile suspect had sent him a Snapchat of a screenshot of the threatening Facebook post with a text overlay that said "watch out." The suspect also posted the same screenshot to his own Snapchat story.
Officers then made contact with the juvenile suspect who stated he had found a phone earlier in the day, but had thrown the phone away in a nearby dumpster. Officers located a phone that matched the description of the stolen phone on the trunk of a car parked in front of the suspect's residence. Officers discovered the phone had been reset to factory settings.
The 15-year-old juvenile suspect was taken into custody for Making a Terroristic Threat-Felony, Stealing-Felony, Tampering With Physical Evidence-Felony, as well as the additional enhancement for Hate Crimes-Felony as provided in RSMo 557.035.
The Columbia Police Department would like to thank the students and parents who became aware of these social media posts and contacted law enforcement and Columbia Public Schools (CPS) Administration. We have worked closely with CPS security staff and administrators throughout this investigation and appreciate their prompt attention and willingness to assist us in these investigations. Our partnership is vital to keeping our schools, students and community safe.
SEE SOMETHING, SAY SOMETHING