Threat shuts down music event at NJ school
WEST CALDWELL — An online threat over the weekend forced the cancellation of a music event at James Caldwell High School
A "Music Marathon" event at the school in West Caldwell was underway when police were made aware of a potential threat, Chief Gerard Paris told TAP into West Essex. Paris said people attending the event were sent to classrooms as police investigated the threat. No threat was found and the event ended early, according to Paris.
The chief announced on Sunday that 18-year-old Michael Schmitt had been arrested and charged with sending the threatening message, according to TapInto Verona.
CBS New York reported a letter sent to parents said the threat was made by a student. Students told the news station the threat was a picture of the end of a gun and included a song about shooting someone in the head. The school was also named in the caption of the picture.
Schmitt was taken to the Essex County Jail while awaiting a preliminary hearing, according to TapInto. New Jersey 101.5 did not know Sunday whether Schmitt had an attorney who could speak on his behalf.
The West Caldwell threat came just one day after New Brunswick police charged a 14-year-old New Brunswick Middle School student over comments he made about having a gun in his backpack.The boy told police he was "joking," according to police spokesman Captain J.T. Miller. The boy was charged with creating a false public alarm.
"The New Brunswick Police Department and the New Brunswick Public Schools take these threats very seriously. Even if students perceive them as jokes, the consequences can be serious," Miller said.
A teacher was alerted to the comment the boy made the comment at the end of the school day on Friday. Miller said an investigation determined the boy did not have a gun and there was not one in his home, according to police.