Over the past two weeks, police have investigated a series of bomb/active shooter threats at various locations in Lancaster County. In all, police are aware of (20) such incidents that weren’t cleared until today. At least (13) of those involved threats at area schools.
The individual we believe to be responsible for those threats has been charged. Police in three jurisdictions Wednesday filed charges against a 15-year-old juvenile male. The juvenile will be prosecuted in juvenile court, thus can’t be identified publicly.
He is charged with counts of: making terroristic threats, causing false alarm, and making threats to use weapons of mass destruction.
At this point, police and District Attorney Craig Stedman are confident this individual acted alone in the threats incidents. The investigation is ongoing.
All of the threats perpetrated by the juvenile were made via electronic communication, via a citizen tip line. The tip line is connected with Lancaster County-Wide Communications, which dispatches emergency 9-1-1 incidents for the county.
The juvenile made threats, between Sept. 10 and Sept. 15, regarding the following locations:
- Lampeter-Strasburg High School
- Conestoga Valley High School
- Smoketown Elementary School
- McCaskey High School
All of them were investigated with appropriate precaution. At this point, we believe, the juvenile didn’t appear to have the means to carry out his threats.
The threats were “extremely disturbing” in nature, involving graphic claims to harm children and police officers. Police noticed patterns in the ongoing threats that led them to believe the same person was behind the activity.
Subsequently, police interviewed the juvenile at District Attorney Stedman’s office, where the juvenile admitted to all the above threats. He is represented by an attorney. The juvenile’s parents have been extremely cooperative with the authorities.
Detectives Jere Schuler (West Lampeter police), Christopher Jones (East Lampeter) and Bill Hickey (Lancaster city) filed charges.
Juvenile law prohibits disclosure of the juvenile’s location. The juvenile probation department and a judge will determine whether the juvenile is detained and/or conditions of release.
The juvenile is not charged in the threats at Donegal, Ephrata, and Cocalico School Districts. Police in those jurisdictions have filed charges regarding those separate incidents.
He is presumed innocent.
MEDIA CONTACT: Brett A. Hambright, 717-295-2041; firstname.lastname@example.org