Update: Police say students connected to Concord High School threats identified

  • Concord High School freshmen Morgane Orcutt (left) and Macie Anderson discuss the Snapchat shooting threat on Thursday, Feb. 22, 2018, at Concord High. LEAH WILLINGHAM / Monitor staff

  • Concord High School freshmen Morgane Orcutt (left) and Macie Anderson discuss the Snapchat shooting threat on Thursday at Concord High. LEAH WILLINGHAM / Monitor staff

Monitor staff
Published: 2/22/2018 10:34:14 AM

Police have identified two students in connection with a threat made against Concord High School.

Concord police Lt. Sean Ford said the two students are being kept out of school while police continue to investigate the threat, which was made on the social media platform Snapchat and suggested an event similar to last week’s tragedy in Florida would occur at Concord High on Friday.

Ford said police expect to file charges in juvenile court but are still investigating the incident to determine what charges are appropriate.

Concord police were at the school Thursday afternoon investigating the threat, which they said was reported Wednesday night.

Students also reported receiving messages and photos from the Snapchat account during the school day Thursday saying, “I’m here and I can see you,” and “I’m going to kill you.”

“People were basically talking about it all day,” said Concord High School freshman Morgane Orcutt. “Some people were scared, and a lot of teachers took time out of class to ask students how they were feeling and make sure everyone had a chance to ask questions and process what was happening.”

Although a joint press release from Concord police and the Concord School District did not describe the threat explicitly, the release said the threat “suggested that there would be an incident similar to what happened in Florida last week.” In an email to parents, CHS Principal Tom Sica said the threat had warned of an attack to take place on Friday.

Police determined the juvenile did not have access to weapons.

Classes continued at Concord High School while the investigation was ongoing. Parents were first informed of the incident Thursday morning via Sica’s email.

“We appreciate the ‘see something, say something’ willingness of our students to make us aware,” Sica wrote. “Given the times, we know that this is a vital strategy to be a safe school.”

In a recorded message sent to parents, Concord Superintendent Terri Forsten said the “see something, say something” method was an important part of the investigation.

Junior Hannah Dennis said almost half of the students in some of her classes missed school Thursday. But she said a lot of the anxiety about the threat seemed to be stirring among parents – not students.

“Students didn’t seem as worried,” she said. “It’s probably someone just trying to get attention.”

Several other school threats have been brought to the attention of school officials in the wake of the deadly Stoneman Douglas High School shooting in Parkland, Fla., last week.

In Epping, a juvenile was charged with one count of criminal threatening, and a Hampton teen was accused of threatening to “shoot up” the Seacoast School of Technology. Somersworth police also investigated a threat of violence allegedly made by a Somersworth High School student.

In Weare and Henniker, officials closed school Tuesday while police investigated a threat found by students scrawled on a table, which led to a swirl of rumors on social media.

Concord High School freshman Macie Anderson said the threats on Snapchat made the possibility of something like what happened in Florida happening in Concord feel more real. But she said she had faith in the school’s handling of the situation, and still planned to attend classes on Friday.

“It makes me nervous, but it seems like the school has it under control,” she said. “Most of the time when something like this happens, there’s no warning.”

(Caitlin Andrews, Alyssa Dandrea and Leah Willingham contributed to this report.)

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