YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) — A 16-year-old boy was booked into the Martin P. Joyce Juvenile Justice Center on a charge of inducing panic for threatening to shoot up a school.
The arrest came after WKBN became aware of a threat the boy made online Sunday to carry out a shooting at Woodrow Wilson Alternative School and Virtual Academy and we notified police.
Chief Of Detectives Capt. Jason Simon said once police were notified of the threat, they interviewed the boy before taking him into custody.
“We don’t have any real reason, and is there ever really any justification for threatening to shoot up a school? There isn’t. Talking to the suspect it seems he just has some sort of personal grudge against going to school,” Simon said.
Police said they didn’t find any weapons in the teen’s home and his parents were not aware of his messages.
The teen was arraigned in Mahoning County Juvenile Court on three counts of inducing panic and possessing criminal tools, both first degree misdemeanors; and attempted tampering with evidence, a fourth degree felony.
Magistrate Karen Romano Melone entered pleas of denial, or the juvenile equivalent of not guilty, for the teen. She also ordered that he be held in detention, pending a mental health evaluation.
He is scheduled for a preliminary hearing within the next 10 days.
Detectives, as well as the department’s Family Services Investigation Unit, are working on the case.
City police also notified security officials with the Youngstown City School District.
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The boy is a student at the Woodrow Wilson Alternative School and Virtual Academy. Simon said detectives believe no one else made any threats other than the boy in custody after an investigation that stretched into the early morning hours of Monday.