Threats made against NJ schools week after Texas massacre
A week after a gunman opened fire inside a Texas elementary school killing 21 people, threats were reported against two New Jersey schools on Tuesday.
Lakewood High School went on lockdown Tuesday afternoon after a report of someone with an assault rife nearby while a threat was made against Newark schools in the comments section of a media outlet's Facebook page. The threats appear to have been unfounded.
Howell police notified Lakewood police of a call they received about a male with an assault rifle who got out of a red pickup truck near Lakewood High School, according to Lakewood police Capt. Greg Staffordsmith around 5 p.m.
The school was put on lockdown and a "systematic search for any possible threat was conducted" with nothing found and the threat determined to be unfounded, according to Staffordsmith.
School district attorney Michael Inzulbuch told The Lakewood Scoop there were approximately 11 students and 7 staff members inside the school at the time of the lockdown.
An investigation into the threat is ongoing. Staffordsmith asked anyone with information about the threat to contact the department at 732-363-0200.
Threat found in the comments
The news website RLS Metro Breaking News said it reported a threat to Newark police made in the comments of its Facebook page that one of the schools in Newark’s North Ward Schools would be "shot up" Wednesday.
The comment mentioned the Park Elementary School by name, the company said in a statement. It was deleted but copied for the police investigation.
The news site features news from all over the state with heavy coverage of Newark.
"We take all threats very seriously and have increased police presence at the school. This incident remains under investigation," Newark Public Safety Director Brian O’Hara told New Jersey 101.5 in a statement.
O’Hara said that a 12-year-old student was found with a gun at North Star Academy on Washington Street around 2:15 p.m. Police recovered a .9mm caliber handgun and the student was taken into custody. It is unrelated to the RLS Facebook threat.
The threats come a week after 19 students and 2 teachers were massacred inside Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, when a gunman entered the school and opened fire with a gun.