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Man charged with making threats against Big Island private school

By Star-Advertiser staff

LAST UPDATED: 12:02 p.m. HST, Oct 26, 2011

A Hilo man was charged Tuesday night with making a series of threats, including a reference to the mass shooting at Virginia Tech, to staff at the Kamehameha Schools on Hawaii island.

Jeremy J. Costa, 18, of Hilo, was charged with one count of first-degree terroristic threatening. He is being held at the Hilo police cellblock in lieu of $100,000 bail and is scheduled to appear in court this afternoon.

Police said Costa made the threats against security staff of Kamehameha Schools' Keeau campus through an internet social networking website Monday night. He threatened to go to the school and harm the security staff, referenced the Virginia Tech massacre where five faculty and 27 students were killed, and urged readers of the message to have their cameras ready, police said. Costa was arrested about 7:45 a.m. Tuesday.

"We take very seriously any potential threat to the safety of our community and children in particular," said Assistant Chief Henry Tavares. "Please be assured that anyone who gives any indication of a desire to perpetrate any violence within our schools will be pursued swiftly."

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