Hawaii island police arrested a 17-year-old boy and increased their presence at two schools today after two separate social media comments intensified concerns that are already heightened by last week’s Florida school shooting.
Big Island police said a tip at 11:30 a.m. Tuesday about a social media post that mentioned “shooting up local schools.” An investigation revealed the teen posted it, police said. He was arrested and charged with terroristic threatening Tuesday night, then released shortly afterward.
Although the suspect did not name a specific school, police determined he was connected to Konawaena High School, prompting increased police presence at the school grounds today.
Pahoa High School also had an increased police presence today after police were notified of a 16-year-old girl who made a comment of bringing a gun to school on social media. The comment stemmed from an argument on Instagram with another teen girl.
Police opened a harassment case and interviewed the girl, who was later released. The case has been referred to family court.
The threats come in the aftermath of one of the nation’s deadliest school shootings. Nineteen-year-old Nikolas Cruz killed 17 students and teachers at Marjory Stoneman High School in Parkland, Fla. Wednesday after he opened fire with a semi-automatic rifle.
A day after the shootings, a threat was made on Instagram against Kapolei Middle School from an individual who posted she or he planned to “shoot up” the campus Friday morning. The threat prompted police presence at Kapolei Middle and more than 600 students staying home from school.