Suspects charged with making threats against school

Suspects charged with making threats against school

PIGGOTT, AR (KAIT) - Clay County sheriff's deputies arrested and charged two teens with making a threat against the Piggott School District.

Sheriff Terry Miller said in a statement released Thursday, his department was contacted about some graffiti found at Chalk Bluff Battlefield Park, north of Piggott.

Miller said the three suspects were at the park when one decided to write on the overlook, "I'm going to shoot up the Piggott School on April 20, 2017."

Later the suspect decided he didn't need to leave the message up and "tried to scuff it off," Miller said. But, the words were ingrained in the wood.

Miller said someone came along after the boys and saw the graffiti. They took a photo of it then notified the Clay County Sheriff's Department.

The sheriff's department immediately notified the Piggott Police Department and the school district.

Officers and deputies took the three suspects into custody Thursday morning for questioning. The sheriff said two of the suspects were students, one had dropped out.

Following an "intensive investigation," Miller said two of the juveniles are charged with falsely making a terroristic threat. Their case will be referred to the Clay County Juvenile Department. The third suspect will not be charged.

Miller stressed that "no overt actions were taken [by the suspects] to carry out this threat."

Despite rumors to the contrary, Superintendent Charlie Powell told Region 8 News the school was never on lockdown.

However, she did say police and deputies were at the school to make sure everyone was safe. After officers took the suspects into custody for questioning, several stayed on campus and patrolled the grounds.

The school held an assembly to alert the students and calm their fears. Powell and other school officials also notified parents of the threat.

When asked if the school planned to suspend or expel the suspects, Powell said that decision would be left to the school board.

Copyright 2017 KAIT. All rights reserved.

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