Three students involved in two separate threats at Ogdensburg Free Academy; K-9 searches schools
OGDENSBURG — Three students were allegedly involved in two separate threats made against Ogdensburg Free Academy students on Tuesday, according to Ogdensburg police.
Police said they investigated a social media threat that included names of students who attend OFA.“Though no direct threats of violence were associated with the list, the discovery of the post, which included a list of names, certainly instilled fear and panic throughout the community, as it was perceived as a threat to not only the students named, but to the student body, and faculty, as well,” said Lt. Daniel Mousaw.
Following the discovery of the social media post, a handwritten note, containing verbiage that included the word “shooting,” was discovered by a student in the school and brought to the attention of school administrators, police said.
“The note was also regarded as a threatening in nature, and coupled with the list of names on social media, prompted immediate attention from school officials and an investigation launched by the Ogdensburg Police Department,” he said.
While the investigation into the matter was ongoing, and out of caution, members of the Ogdensburg Police Department went to each of the schools in the district to greet children attending school and to make their presence known.
In addition, New York State Police K-9’s were brought into Ogdensburg Free Academy Tuesday night to conduct a sweep of the school, Mousaw said.
“Through an intensive investigation today, with the assistance of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security Investigations, investigators were able to track down, not only the source of the handwritten note, but also the source of the social media thread,“ he said. The investigation has shown that the social media post, containing a list of Ogdensburg Free Academy students, and the handwritten note, were separate incidents and had no connection to one another.
With respect to the handwritten note, a single juvenile was identified as the source of the note, Mousaw said. “Through investigation, it was learned that there was no intended threat to the school and the school was never in any imminent danger of any harm from this student,” he said.
That student was turned over to his parents, and removed from the school.
In the matter of the social media post, two juvenile students were identified as being involved, with one of the two students having created the post and disseminated it through social media.
“Again, it was revealed through the investigation, that no immediate threat was present, there was no true intent to cause harm, and the school and student body were never in any danger,” Mousaw said.
These juveniles were also turned over to their parents, he said.
“Due to the age of all of the individuals involved, Family Court action will be considered, he said.
The Ogdensburg Police Department was assisted in the investigation by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security Investigations.