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Hanover police: Teen arrested, charged in Canada in school shooting threat

By MEGHAN PIERCE
Union Leader Correspondent

March 21. 2018 9:36AM
Police said a 14-year-old was arrested in Canada in an investigating of an apparent threat made on an Instagram account. (HANOVERHIGH.ORG PHOTO)



HANOVER — Police Wednesday morning said a 14-year-old in Canada has been arrested and charged regarding an Instagram threat titled "hanoverhighshooting."

Local police had investigated the threat, first reported by concerned parents and students, on Tuesday. By Tuesday afternoon police were confident the threat was made from outside the area, according to a release.

With help from Lebanon police Sgt. Richard Norris, the threat was tracked to a residence in Canada, police said. Canadian law enforcement searched the home and seized electronic devices, police said.

Police Capt. Mark Bodanza said a parent reported Tuesday morning that their child had received an Instagram invitation from a “HanoverHighShooting” account.

“That was the name of the group to follow and the message pertained to potentially shooting somebody today or in the future,” Bodanza said.

He said the threat did not identify a specific person or location, but the invitation had been sent via Facebook to several Hanover High School students.

The Instagram page had no posts, but in the page bio said “... THIS IS FOR WHAT YOU’VE GIVEN ME FOR 2 YEARS STRAIGHT I GIVE NO MERCY IF I SEE YOU YOU GET SHOT. IT HAPPENS SOON.. MAYBE TODAY...”

Bodanza said none of the local students who received invitations had any idea who might be behind the account.

The Instagram bio included a photo of what appeared to be the torso of a woman or teenage girl dressed in a black top and black skirt holding a rifle in each hand.

School officials sent a letter to parents but decided against cancelling school or going into lock-down.

“The school went from an open campus to a closed campus, but never went into lock-down,” Bodanza said.

On a closed campus anyone leaving or entering the school must sign in or out, he said, as opposed to an open campus, were students can come and go as they please if they typically have permission to leave campus for free blocks or lunch.

Bodanza said police took the threat “very seriously.” An officer was stationed at the school and the FBI and ATF were notified of the threat, he said.

Bodanza said Facebook and Instagram were notified by police and asked to assist in identifying the individual behind the threats.


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